Women's Rights

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Dora Askowith

Dora Askowith tried to galvanize Jewish students into social activism and leadership by teaching them the history of their faith.

Fay Ajzenberg-Selove

Fay Ajzenberg-Selove not only made significant contributions to physics, she made huge strides for women by demanding she be judged on her merits, not her gender.

Simone Veil

Simone Veil fought for women’s rights as a member of the French Parliament, and the 1975 law allowing women the right to an abortion bears her name.

Abigail Van Buren

Born Pauline Friedman, Abigail Van Buren was best known for her “Dear Abby” column and the witty, commonsense advice she gave hundreds of millions of readers.

Sophie A. Udin

Sophie A. Udin fought for women's rights and equal pay, but she is best known for helping found the first libraries in Israel and creating important American archives about Zionism, helping preserve vital documents and make them accessible.

Helen Suzman

As the lone member of the Progressive Party for thirteen years of her 36-year career in the South African parliament, Helen Suzman questioned the apartheid government and served as an important ally of Nelson Mandela.

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand’s outsized personality, combined with her voice and acting talents, made her one of the most successful performers of the twentieth century.

Rose Pastor Stokes

Called the “Cinderella of the sweatshops,” Rose Pastor Stokes made headlines when she married millionaire socialist James Graham Phelps Stokes.

Caroline Klein Simon

Caroline Klein Simon fought for gender and racial equality and made the first laws against real estate brokers using “blockbusting” tactics to force sales of homes.

Clara Lemlich Shavelson

Clara Lemlich Shavelson pushed union leaders to recognize the importance of women in the labor movement and organized vital demonstrations for worker’s rights and cost-of-living issues.

Birth of Cancer Patient Advocate Rose Kushner

June 22, 1929

"We women should be free, knowledgeable, and completely conscious when the time comes for a decision, so that we can make it for ourselves." Cancer patient advocate Rose Kushner

Girl Rising, 2013

Have you seen "Girl Rising?" This documentary is (rightfully) having a moment

Miriam Cantor-Stone

Some readers of Jewesses with Attitude might remember that almost a year ago, I wrote about the documentary film Girl Rising, which at the time was being shown here in Boston as Abby Mohr’s bat mitzvah project. I was frustrated that I couldn’t see the film at the time, so I was thrilled when Tara, JWA’s Director of Engagement and Social Media, posted on our Facebook that the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) would be screening a shortened version of the film. I made it a priority to go to this event—not only to make up for missing it last year, but also to finally see what I’ve been hearing so much about since the making of this film.

Girl Rising tells the stories of girls in developing countries fighting to earn the educations they need and deserve. What’s so powerful about the film is that it is truly a docu-drama. Each story focuses on a young woman who worked with a writer from her country to present her story the way she wanted it told.

Topics: Women's Rights, Film

Carol Ruth Silver

Carol Ruth Silver was one of the first two white women to be jailed in the Freedom Rides, an experience that sparked a career in law and politics, fighting for the rights of others.

Vivian Leburg Rothstein

Vivian Leburg Rothstein’s early experiences fighting for civil rights led her to a long career advocating for peace, women’s rights, and the labor movement.

Trudy Orris

Shaped by her experiences in post-Holocaust Europe and older than most civil rights volunteers, Trudy Orris brought her children with her to participate in demonstrations down South.

Barbara Jacobs Haber

Barbara Jacobs Haber focused her civil rights activism on sit-ins and desegregating restaurants and bars.

Janice Goodman

Janice Goodman’s work on civil rights issues drove her to become a lawyer, arguing class action cases for women’s rights.

Rose Schneiderman

The first woman elected to national office in a labor union and the only woman on FDR’s National Recovery Administration Labor Advisory Board, Rose Schneiderman transformed the lives of American workers.

Anna Lederer Rosenberg

Anna Lederer Rosenberg was a significant political force long before becoming the first female assistant secretary of defense.

Ernestine Rose

An early feminist who inspired Susan B. Anthony, Ernestine Rose was particularly remarkable for her insistence that women’s rights and slave emancipation needed to be approached as one issue: the freedom of all people.

Mary Goldsmith Prag

The mother of the first Jewish congresswoman, Mary Goldsmith Prag was a literal pioneer in her own right as a gold-rush era teacher and the first Jewish member of the San Francisco Board of Education.

Grace Paley

A rare example of a writer deeply engaged with the world, Grace Paley made an impact as much through her activism as her writing.

Nita M. Lowey

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey used her position to fight for women’s health, public broadcasting, and support for Israel.

Sadie Loewith

Sadie Loewith was thirty years old before she was allowed to vote, but took on leadership roles in business and local government and fought to ensure other women could do the same.

Ann Landers

Ann Landers counseled millions of readers through her popular advice column for over forty years on issues from the growing pains of adolescence to the grief of widowhood with wit, humor, kindness, and good sense.
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