Posted by on Nov 11, 2014 in News, Slider | Comments Off

Women’s Equality Day

August 26 2014

Belva Lockwood was a married, twice widowed mother, who, in 1873, got her law degree at the age of 43. She became one of the foremost lawyers in Washington DC, testifying at Congressional hearings and writing many resolutions, bills and petitions favoring women’s rights. In 1879, she became the first woman to practice in front of the US Supreme Court. She also defended the rights of the Cherokee nation and worked for equal pay for equal jobs for female government workers. In 1884, she wrote a letter to her friend Marietta Sow. “It is quite time that we had our own party, our own platform and our own nominees”, she told Marietta. In response, Marietta helped create the National Equal Rights Party and she told Belva that they had nominated her for President, with Marietta as her Vice-President. Although surprised, Belva though the idea would generate publicity. She ran a dignified campaign that promoted women’s rights reforms. While the campaign did indeed draw attention, it also upset some other suffragists who saw it as a distraction. Amazingly, at a time when women could not vote, Lockwood won more than 4,000 votes. Now, 130 years aftethr Belva Lockwood ran for President, women are still fighting for the same rights she fought for in 1884. Equal pay for equal jobs is one. In New York this year, as we get closer to the 100th anniversary of 1917 passage of the women’s right to vote in New York, a Women’s Equality line on the ballot was initiated by Governor Cuomo and his running mate, Kathy Hochul.  Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren are serious candidates for the US Presidency in 2016. Yet last year, New York could not even pass a Women’s Equality bill. The federal government has never passed the Equal Rights Amendment. On August 26, 2020 we will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the passage of the 19thAmendment, granting women the right to vote.  However many of the same issues that women faced in 1920 still exist today. In 1884, some brave women held a convention in Seneca Falls that produced the Declaration of Sentiments. Using the Declaration of Independence as their starting point they added one important word that was left out and that word was:  WOMEN. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal.” The women who wrote the Declaration of Sentiments back in 1848 knew the process of winning equality for women would be a long process. They wrote the Declaration of Sentiments for their daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters. It is now our time to pick up the charge and finally gain real freedom for women. Susan Zimet, President 2020: Project Women Votes for Women 2020