Wednesday, 5 March 2008

International Women's Day, 8th March - Part 1

This post is to commemorate all the great women in politics over the years. These women made a difference and left their mark in history. They had created hope and inspired a lot back then.

1) Bella Abzug (July 1920 - March 1998)

She was a well-known American political figure and a leader of the women’s movement. She famously said, “This woman’s place is in the House — the House of Representatives,” in her successful 1970 campaign to join that body.

In 1970, Bella Abzug was elected to the U.S. Congress from New York. In Congress, she was especially noted for her work for the Equal Rights Amendment, national day care centers, ending sex discrimination, and working mothers' priorities.

Bella Abzug also worked against American involvement in the Vietnam War and against the Selective Service System. She challenged the seniority system, ending up as chair of the House subcommittee on government information and individual rights.

Bella Abzug ran for the Senate in 1976, losing to Daniel P. Moynihan, and in 1977 was defeated in a primary bid for the office of mayor of New York City. In 1978 she again ran for Congress, in a special election.

In 1977-1978 Bella Abzug served as co-chair of the National Advisory Committee on Women. She was fired by President Jimmy Carter, who had originally appointed her, when the committee openly criticized Carter's budget for cutting women's programs.

In 1990, she co-founded the women's environmental & development organization to m obilize women's participation in international conferences, particularly those run by the United Nations.

2) Emmeline Pankhurst (July 1858 - June 1928)

In 1889 Emmeline founded the Women's Franchise League, which fought to allow married women to vote in local elections.

In October 1903 she helped found the more militant Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) - an organisation that gained much notoriety for its militant activities and whose members were the first to be christened 'suffragettes'.

Emmeline's daughters Christabel and Sylvia were both active in the cause. British politicians, press and public were astonished by the demonstrations, window smashing, arson and hunger strikes of the suffragettes. Like many suffragettes, Emmeline was arrested on numerous occasions over the next few years and went on hunger strike herself, resulting in violent force-feeding.

In 1913 in response to the wave of hunger strikes, the government passed what became known as the 'Cat and Mouse' Act. Hunger striking prisoners were released until they grew strong again, and then re-arrested.

This period of militancy was ended abruptly on the outbreak of war in 1914, when Emmeline turned her energies to supporting the war effort. In 1918 the Representation of the People Act gave voting rights to women over 30. Emmeline died on 14 June 1928, shortly after women were granted equal voting rights with men (at 21).

3) Eleanor Roosevelt (October 1884 - November 1962)

She was an American political leader who used her influence as an active First Lady from 1933 to 1945 to promote the New Deal policies of her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as taking a prominent role as an advocate for civil rights.

After her husband's death in 1945, she continued to be an internationally prominent author and speaker for the New Deal coalition. She was a suffragist who worked to enhance the status of working women, although she opposed the Equal Rights Amendment because she believed it would adversely affect women.

In the 1940s, she was one of the co-founders of Freedom House and supported the formation of the United Nations. Eleanor Roosevelt founded the UN Association of the United States in 1943 to advance support for the formation of the UN.

She was a delegate to the UN General Assembly from 1945 and 1952, a job for which she was appointed by President Harry S. Truman and confirmed by the United States Senate. During her time at the United Nations she chaired the committee that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

President Truman called her the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights achievements.

No comments:

Thank you for visiting