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Women's Rights

Nita M. Lowey

As cochair of the Bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey made women’s health issues a priority. In the fiscal year of 1995, when the National Institutes of Health received only a three percent increase in funding, Lowey secured a seventeen percent increase in funding for breast cancer research. As a member of the Committee on Homeland Security, she works to achieve safety from terrorism for all Americans. Also serving on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Lowey is a staunch supporter of the State of Israel.

Minnie Low

Known as the “Jane Addams of the Jews,” Minnie Low was a leader in the Jewish social service community. Born in New York City, on November 9, 1867, Low was the second of six children. When she was ten, Low’s family moved to Chicago, where she completed grammar school. Unfortunately, she was forced to leave South Division High School during her first year due to poor health.

Elizabeth Holtzman

A member of the generation that came of age in the 1960s, Elizabeth Holtzman has pursued a public career epitomizing some of the most important trends in postwar American and Jewish life. In her successive roles as a congresswoman, Brooklyn district attorney, and comptroller of New York City, she emerged as an effective and activist public servant, a forceful campaigner, and a champion of liberal and feminist causes. Her career illustrates the recent empowerment of ambitious, highly motivated, professional young women and the increasing role of Jewish figures in electoral politics. In addition, she has been a dedicated Jew, with a highly regarded record of communal commitment and achievement.

Histadrut

In 1920, with the beginning of the [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:306]British mandate[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary] following World War I, a new workers’ organization, Histadrut ha-Ovdim ha-Clalit (the General Federation of Workers), was formed by the Jewish workers who immigrated to Mandatory Palestine. The Histadrut comprised men and women workers, both wage-earners and homemaker wives of Histadrut members. The Histadrut did not restrict its spectrum of activity, nor did it limit its scope of membership. Indeed, its charter declared that every working man and woman over the age of eighteen who lived by his or her own earnings and concurred with the policies of the Histadrut was eligible for membership.

Health Activism, American Feminist

American women have been the “perennial health care reformers.” According to Carol Weisman, professor of Health Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health: “Activism around women’s health has tended to occur in waves and to coincide with other social reform movements, including peaks in the women’s rights movements.” At all of those pivotal moments, Jewish women have played central roles.

Women of the Wall

Women of the Wall (WOW), a group of women who have asserted women’s right to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, have struggled against personal violence and public opprobrium since 1988.

Rosi Wolfstein-Fröhlich

For nine years Rosi Wolfstein-Fröhlich and Rosa Luxemburg were collaborators in the battle for socialism, women’s rights, worker emancipation, anti-militarism and pacifism. Her life constituted a battle against war, racism and social injustice.

Frances Wolf

Of the approximately eighty women who were instrumental in opening up the legal profession for women in the United States, Frances Wolf was the first Jewish woman in that very select group.

WIZO in Israel: 1970-2005

A review of WIZO’s achievements and contribution to building Israeli society reveals the number of areas in which the organization has been involved throughout its existence, investing great effort in them according to society’s changing needs: the status of women; child care from infancy to adolescence; care of the elderly; community work and immigrant absorption. Overall, the organization’s major activity is directed toward improving the status of women in all areas—family, work, society, political life and legal matters. A survey of women’s advancement in the country reveals the enormous changes that occurred and, together with them, flexibility and change within the organization in order to advance women in a more clearly feminist manner.

Belle Winestine

Belle Winestine is best remembered as Jeannette Rankin’s legislative assistant, though she served in this capacity for only one year (1916–1917). Nonetheless, her work with Rankin served as an important apprenticeship that created a lasting friendship, profoundly influenced her understanding of the legislative process, and solidified what became her lifelong commitment to reform. For over seventy years, she devoted time, money, and energy to support and enforce legislation pertaining to women’s rights and children’s issues.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women's Rights." (Viewed on July 27, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/womens-rights>.

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