Group Celebrates Women's Equality Day
WASHINGTON – Federally Employed Women (FEW) celebrates Thursday’s observance of Women’s Equality Day and the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote. “The struggle for the women’s right to vote was hard fought, but fairness won in the end and this amendment was a major win for the equality of women and men in our nation today,” Sue Webster, FEW’s National President, stated. “However, we still have one important battle ahead – enactment of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA),” Webster warned.
The struggle for the 19th Amendment began in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York. It finally was added to our Constitution in 1920. “Women have certainly made great strides since then,” asserted Arlena Fitch-Gordon, FEW National Executive Vice President. “I am proud to be part of an organization that continues to ensure that women remain on an equal footing with their male colleagues in the workplace and all facets of our society; this includes an aggressive campaign to pass the ERA,” Fitch Gordon added.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-14-NY) has introduced HJRes 61 which would add the ERA to our nation’s Constitution and it continues to attract new co-sponsors. This Amendment will give women the legal backing to guarantee that they are equal to men which would greatly alleviate equal pay issues, access to upper mobility programs and jobs, and educational opportunities for younger women. “All this Amendment says is that women are equal to men,” stated Janet Kopenhaver, FEW’s Washington Representative. “We urge all Members of Congress to co-sponsor this important Resolution and help ensure it moves through the legislative process. Additionally, it will be included as a component of our Legislator Scorecard for the 111th Congress scheduled for release in mid-October,” Kopenhaver warned. Through FEW member advocacy efforts this year, many additional co-sponsors added their names to the Resolution during this Congress from several states including California, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
Passage of the ERA was the top legislative priority for FEW during the 111th Congress and the organization. “We are anticipating that it will again be chosen by our members as a top priority and we have already begun working on new proactive campaign strategies for the new Congress that should bring a lot of visibility to the issue so stay tuned,” Kopenhaver hinted.
FEW is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1968 after Executive Order 11375 was issued that added sex discrimination to the list of prohibited discrimination in the federal government. FEW has grown into a proactive organization serving more than one million federally employed women – both in the military and civilian workforce.