From Seneca Falls to Selma: Women’s History Month, Part 2

 

Women of color have historically had substandard health care and education, which has often led to higher rates of unplanned pregnancies. Disparities in reproductive health have caused Latina women to experience unintended pregnancies at double the rate of white women, and African American women experience unintended pregnancies at three times the rate.(Center for American Progress)

We can learn so much for our collective past and apply those lessons to our collective future. At this time and in this era, we must try to

come together to face our struggles as one. We must come together and fight for rights and for equality for ourselves, for our friends, for our neighbors and for those strangers who we have never met.

 

Our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth

Here is a brief timeline of the struggles and efforts of Women

and Women of Color to attain equality in the last 180 years.

1833

American Anti-Slavery Society (AAS)   (1833–1870) is founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan. Frederick   Douglass

1848

The first women’s rights convention is held in   Seneca Falls, New York.

1850

The first National Women’s Rights Convention   takes place in Worcester, Mass., attracting more than 1,000 participants.

1868

14th amendment is added to the   constitution – which defines citizenship of the United States and protects   individual civil and political rights from being abridged or denied by any   state.

1870

15th amendment is added to the   constitution – affording African American men the right to vote.

1896

The National Association of Colored Women is   formed.

1909

The National Association for the Advancement   of Colored People (NAACP) formed by W.E.B. Du Bois and other African American   leaders and white proponents of racial equality.

1919

The federal woman suffrage amendment,   originally written by Susan B. Anthony and introduced in Congress in 1878, is passed   by the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is then sent to the states   for ratification

1920

The 19th Amendment to the   Constitution, granting women the   right to vote, is signed into law by Secretary of State Bainbridge   Colby.

1935

Mary McLeod Bethune organizes the National Council of Negro   Women, a coalition of black women’s groups that lobbies against job   discrimination, racism, and sexism.

1954

The Supreme Court rules on the landmark case   Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans., unanimously agreeing that   segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.

1955

NAACP member Rosa Parks refuses to give up her   seat at the front of the “colored section” of a bus to a white   passenger.

1963

Congress passes the Equal   Pay Act, making it illegal   for employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same   job.

1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars discrimination in employment on the   basis of race and sex. At the same time it establishes the Equal   Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate complaints and impose penalties.
The 24th Amendment abolishes the poll tax,   which originally had been instituted in 11 southern states after   Reconstruction to make it difficult for poor blacks to vote.

1967

Executive Order 11375 expands President Lyndon Johnson’s affirmative   action policy of 1965 to   cover discrimination based on gender. As a result, federal agencies and   contractors must take active measures to ensure that women as well as   minorities enjoy the same educational and employment opportunities as white   males.

1968

The EEOC rules that sex-segregated help wanted ads in   newspapers are illegal. This ruling is upheld in 1973 by the Supreme Court,   opening the way for women to apply for higher-paying jobs hitherto open only   to men.

1986

Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, the Supreme Court finds that sexual   harassment is a form of illegal job discrimination.

2005

In Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education,   the Supreme Court rules that Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based   on sex, also inherently prohibits disciplining someone for complaining about   sex-based discrimination. It further holds that this is the case even when   the person complaining is not among those being discriminated against.

2009

President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair   Pay Restoration Act, which allows victims of pay discrimination to file a   complaint with the government against their employer within 180 days of their   last paycheck. Previously, victims (most often women) were only allowed 180   days from the date of the first unfair paycheck. This Act is named after a   former employee of Goodyear who alleged that she was paid 15–40% less than   her male counterparts, which was later found to be accurate.
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