Women's Rights

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Rising Voices Fellow Emma Mair with her Cousin Izzy

A Letter to My Little Cousin

by Emma Mair

In the past year a lot has changed in the world that we live in, and all of these changes–many scary–have inspired me to try my hardest to tell you the truth about the reality that girls once lived in, and the reality we live in today.

Delegates at the First National Conference for Women (1977), by Diana Mara Henry

Photographic Memory: On Being the Official Photographer of the First National Women's Conference

by Diana Mara Henry

When, in 1977, Abzug and Senator Patsy Mink called for a national women’s conference, I foresaw that being hired to photograph the First National Women’s Conference as official photographer might be the most historic assignment of my lifetime.

Abby Shevitz, 2004

Women of Character

by Bella Book

It is a truth that should be universally acknowledged: women are amazing, strong, brave, and resilient. I do not know a single woman who has not had to relive moments of sexual harassment and assault this week, whether they shared their story on social media with #MeToo or spoke privately with friends.

Topics: Women's Rights
Mitali Holding a Femininjas Sign (cropped)

To Men Questioning #MeToo

by Rabbi Sarah Mulhern

I want you to see how freaking brave these folks are for coming forward, and I want you to realize that we're doing it *for your sake*, to help *you* see the magnitude of this problem. We are already plenty aware.

Betsy Devos, Offical Portrait

Betsy Devos and the Stacked Deck

by Emily Cataneo

Maybe the Obama-era policies needed improvement. But DeVos’ new policy is built on the lie that men’s and women’s lived experiences and testimony are seen as equal in the eyes of society.

Rachel Kagan (Cohen)

One of two women to sign the Israeli Declaration of Independence (the other being Golda Meir), Rachel Kagan shaped women’s rights in the new state.

Alice Shalvi

Alice Shalvi created opportunities for Israeli women and girls, offering Talmud study to Orthodox girls and spearheading legislative reforms for women’s employment.

Carrie Goldberg

By helping victims of “revenge porn” get justice in court, and working to prevent such cases from occurring in the first place, Carrie Goldberg is creating important safeguards for an era in which people live more and more of their personal and professional lives online.

Jenny Hirsch

Jenny Hirsch devoted years to a society for women’s employment, but when the organization ironically refused to pay her, she reinvented herself as a mystery writer.

Lynn Povich

In her bestselling 2012 book Good Girls Revolt, Lynn Povich described the 1970 lawsuit against Newsweek that enabled her to become the journal’s first female senior editor.

Henriette Goldschmidt

At a time when women were banned from universities, Henriette Benas Goldschmidt championed women’s education as a crucial building block of a healthy society.

Episode 12: A New Era for the ERA

Surveys show that around 90 percent of Americans support an Equal Rights Amendment—and yet, still, the Constitution does not explicitly guarantee equal rights for women. On this month's episode, we explore the history of this amendment, from its roots as a feminist cause in the 1920s, to the failed attempts to pass the amendment in the 1970s, to the renewed efforts to revive the ERA today. We speak to activist and former NOW president Ellie Smeal about how cultural conservatism and anti-feminist activists helped defeat the amendment in the 1970s, and explore whether the fight for the ERA is still vital in today's America.

Kim Kardashian West

We Should All Be Feminists

by Isabel Kirsch

Although I knew I was a feminist long before I had the words to describe it, I try not to judge women who don't feel the same way. However, I take issue with Kardashian West's declaration because we seem to share similar views on women's rights, yet she shies away from the “feminist” label. 

Nursing Area Sign

Public Indecency, or Necessity?

by Lili Klayman

Every once in a while the topic of public breastfeeding sparks a heated debate in the media. Whether it’s a nursing mother being asked to leave a public place, or a nurse-in being staged, controversy ensues as many express their varying opinions on the topic. I’m a seventeen-year-old girl who is not a mother (nor would I like to be anytime soon), but the controversy surrounding public breastfeeding completely baffles me.  

The Daughters of Zelophehad

The Fight to Break Barriers Continues

by Maya Jodidio

The recent presidential election proved that women haven't broken the highest glass ceiling just yet. For centuries, however, women have been breaking barriers and surmounting obstacles. In one of the first recorded cases, five revolutionary biblical women, Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah, were the first females to inherit land from their father, Zelophehad. 

Judith Rosenbaum and daughter march on Washington

Marching Forward as a Movement

by  Judith Rosenbaum

On Saturday, I joined hundreds of thousands of people in Washington, DC, to march for women’s rights, human rights, and to represent the strong resistance against the bigotry and disrespect of the new administration.

Gloria Allred

Gloria Rachel Allred has devoted her legal career to fighting for women’s equality, handling high-profile cases of sexual harassment, workplace discrimination, and hate crimes.
Bella Abzug at a Women Strike for Peace Protest

#JWAmegaphone: Voices of Power and Protest

by  Judith Rosenbaum

At JWA, we believe that history is not only about the past, but also about the present—it’s unfolding every day.

Sheila Finestone

Throughout her career in Canadian politics as a parliamentarian and senator, Sheila Finestone fought for human rights.
Anita Pollitzer (cropped)

Looking Back to the Future

by Eden Olsberg

But I don’t want to be silent. After all, it’s not silent women who get stuff done, it’s an explosion of nasty women. So, in thinking about how to move forward and stand my ground, I look to the past. I look to a woman who got stuff done. I look to Anita Pollitzer.

Simone Veil

Women’s Rights are Human Rights

by Hannah Himmelgreen

If anyone has an indelible sparkle, it’s women’s rights activist and French politician Simone Veil. Although she’s not a household name in the United States, she’s regarded with unwavering praise and awe in France, her home country. 

Episode 7: Women of the Wall

This month, Can We Talk? attends a Bat Mitzvah with Women of the Wall at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The group has been fighting for women's right to read Torah at Judaism’s holiest site for nearly three decades—there have been arrests, multiple lawsuits, and a rift in the organization. The Israeli Supreme Court recently took the government to task for failing to provide a non-Orthodox prayer space at the Wall—and indicated it will take matters into its own hands if the government doesn’t act soon.

Taking Risks, Making Change: Bat Mitzvah and Other Evolving Traditions

The letters from one girl's campaign to have the first Saturday morning Bat Mitzvah in her congregation in 1974 serve as a case study for exploring how we confront controversial issues and make change in our communities.

Myra Wolfgang

Hailed by local newspapers as “the battling belle of Detroit,” Myra Wolfgang went from staging sit-ins to becoming International Vice President of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union.

Ida Lippman

As a police officer and a lawyer, Ida Lippman influenced criminal justice both in America and in Korea, where she helped organize the women’s division of the Seoul police force.
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