Tag Archives: gender parity

The Seneca Falls Convention

19 Jul

seneca2Today marks the 166th Anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention.  Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott were the architects of this historical event to address women’s rights and the disparities and barriers women faced during the 19th Century.  Stanton, Mott, Ann McClintock, and Jane Hunt created the plans for the two day convention, July 19 and 20th, 1848. All but Stanton identified as Quakers and all were known for their dedication to the abolitionist movement.

Some of you may remember that Stanton  instructed the minister to eliminate the promise to obey from her wedding vows, later observing, “I obstinately refused to obey one with whom I supposed I was entering into an equal relation.” She also assumed the name Elizabeth Cady Stanton, refusing to be subsumed as Mrs. Henry B. Stanton.

While all of these women worked hard to create a convention (attended by over 300 women — including 40 men, including Frederick Douglass), it was Stanton that drafted the Declaration of Sentiments, which she based on The Declaration of Independence. Stanton stated that:

all men and women had been created equal [and went on to list eighteen] injuries and usurpation -the same number of charges leveled against the King of England-on the part of man toward woman.

Within the Declaration of Sentiments, Stanton included eleven resolutions, making the argument that women had a natural right to equality in all spheres.

Sadly, writing this piece 166 years later, I have to reflect on how much work has yet to be done around gender parity.  While women now have the right to vote and own land, we as a nation still have a long way to go towards full gender parity.  It was quite embarrassing that the Republican controlled House voted against the equal pay bill, and I was mortified by the Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court, which has a huge impact on women’s health.

Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention how all of these disparities have an even larger impact on other targeted populations, such as women of color, undocumented women, and transgender women.

Call to action: I implore all of us that are dedicated to issues of social justice to stand in solidarity with all women as we work towards a more equitable world.

 

Women, War, and Peace

14 Oct

Yesterday, House Republicans continued their attack on women’s health and to further restrict access to reproductive health care, more evidence that we are devolving into Margaret Atwood’s horrifying and prophetic vision.  What an unfortunate backdrop set by the United States for a larger story about global misogyny.

PBS has produced a remarkable Five-Part Series examining the global affront on women’s rights and how we treat women around the world.  The series includes a look at rape camps and the institutionalized raping of women.  The testimony presented by many women is so powerful and disturbing and I hope it compels people to take action!  I would also point to the testimony of actor Matt Damon, who also narrates the PBS special; it is nice to see men standing up for the rights of women. Again, I point to Karl Marx:

Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval. Social Progress can be measured by the social position of the female sex.

The US is not able to take the moral high ground here as a leader, but as you will see from the PBS special, the world as a whole has a long way to go to creating gender parity. Thank goodness for heroes who are working toward gender equality. Here is the link to PBS.  My friend Jennifer Lockett also took action and posted a great article about women during times of war and peace.

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