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Women's Rights

Ida Dehmel

Deeply enmeshed in German cultural life as a writer, salon hostess, and women’s rights activist, Ida Coblenz Dehmel found herself squeezed out of the very communities she had helped shape when the Nazis came to power.

Shirley Siegel

The only woman in the Yale Law School class of 1941, Shirley Adelson Siegel became a trailblazer as head of the New York State Attorney’s first Civil Rights Bureau in 1959.

Naomi Weisstein, 1939 - 2015

“Papa don’t lay that shit on me, I ain’t your groovy chick.
Papa don’t lay that shit on me, it’s just about to make me sick.”

—Naomi Weisstein in the Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band

Naomi Weisstein was a fierce warrior for justice. She was a passionate disrupter of the existing order. She was a brilliant scientist. She was a fighter for women’s liberation. She was hysterically funny. She had biting insights. She was my beloved friend.

Hemdah Ben-Yehuda

Hemdah Ben-Yehuda collaborated with her husband, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, to revive ancient Hebrew and make it a truly functional living language.

Rose Finkelstein

A lifelong labor activist, Rose Finkelstein organized pay raises and better hours for women workers throughout New England.

Fania Mindell

After co-founding America’s first birth control clinic with Margaret Sanger in 1916, Fania Mindell was arrested and convicted of breaking the Comstock Act for her efforts to make birth control available to women.

Sara Azaryahu

In hopes of creating a place where neither her religion nor her gender would make her a second-class citizen, Sara Azaryahu dedicated herself to founding a Jewish state, but was disappointed by the sexism that remained in her society.

Shulamit Aloni

Shulamit Aloni, the first Israeli woman to successfully found a political party, brought her zeal for education and empowerment to her career in the Knesset, helping generations of Israelis learn—and fight for—their rights.

Elga Ruth Wasserman

Having experienced the sexism rampant in higher education herself, Elga Ruth Wasserman guided Yale through the difficult process of becoming a co-ed university.

Virginia Snitow

Ahead of her time in the fight for both civil rights and women’s rights, Virginia Snitow was unafraid to take unpopular stances when fighting for others.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women's Rights." (Viewed on August 2, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/womens-rights>.

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