Women In Politics Essay, Research Paper
Women in Politics
Abigail Adams was the wife of one president and wife of another. She was not
just a mother and a wife, she was also very concerned with politics. Abigail often
corresponded with her husband through letters, as they were often separated. The most
famous of these letters was entitled ?Remember the Ladies?. In this letter, Abigail
advocated women’s rights to her husband. She urged him to push the removal of legal
codes which discriminated against women, lift laws that denied women their property
rights, and pushed for women?s liberation. Abigail will always be remembered as one of
the first female activists.
Fanny Wright was the first American woman to speak publicly against slavery,
and for the equality of women. In 1852, she published an article which stated a plan for
the gradual emancipation of slaves. She also established a settlement in Tennessee, which
trained slaves for freedom. Wright did not live by the standards of society, she was a
free thinker, who, long before her time believed in equality for all. Courageous
throughout her life, her tombstone in Cincinnatti reads ? I have wedded the cause of
human improvement, staked on it my fortune, my reputation and my life?.
Susan B. Anthony
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton worked together for the cause of
anti-slavery and women’s rights. In 1869, they formed the National Women?s Suffrage
Association, through which they hoped to spread their ideas, and eventually gain the right
to vote. Through pamphlets, posters, and other literature they gained many female
supporters . Anthony and Stanton were some of the first women to fight for their rights.
Their work and life has made it possible for women to vote and held up the principle that
?God created men and women as equals?.
Harriet Tubman was a slave, who in her youth escaped to freedom. Tubman
became a radical abolitionist, and formed the ?Underground Railroad?. The Railroad
helped thousands of slaves in the south escape to freedom. Harriet alone was responsible
for helping more than 300 of these escapees. When slavery was outlawed after the
American Civil War, Tubman devoted herself to helping form black schools, fighting for
women’s rights, and caring for orphans. She will always be remembered for her efforts in
the fight for equality.
Martha Wright Griffiths
Martha Wright Griffiths, throughout her career ( legislator, judge , Congresswoman, Lt.
Governor, attorney) has fought to gain and preserve Civil Liberties. She entered Congress
in 1955, and was best known for adding sex discrimination as a prohibited act in the Civil
Rights Act of 1964. Many say she has opened the door for gender equality.
Griffiths also worked for positive changes on behalf of Social Security
and education. Now retired, she is held in high esteem by her colleges for her
determination and commitment to equal treatment for all.
Sandra Day O?Connor
Sandra Day O?Connor has always been interested in politics in 1965, at the age of
35, she began her term as assistant attorney general in Arizona. During the next 15 years,
she began to climb the political ladder in that state. By 1980, she had become a judge for
the Arizona Court of Appeals. One year later, on July 7, 1981, she was nominated by
president Ronald Reagan to fill a position on the United States Supreme Court. In
September of that year, she became the 102nd Supreme Court Justice, and its first female
member. Her votes are generally conservative, but she is a determined woman who
blazed new trails for her women.
Geraldene Farraro started her career as an attorney and a teacher, but in 1978, she
was elected into Congress from New York?s 9th District. In Congress she served as a
women?s and human rights advocate, working for the passage of the Equal Rights
Amendment, and the Women?s Economic Equity Act. In 1984, she was picked to run as
Vice President on the Democratic Party ticket, with Walter Mondale as the Presidential
Candidate. Although they did not win that year, Geraldene?s nomination will
undoubtably open doors for women in the future.
While attending school at Evergreen State College in Washington, Kathleen
Hanna was moved by a professor?s comment that likened women to slaves. From that day
on she has been active politically and socially concerning any and all feminist issues.
Kathleen later formed the punk rock band, aptly named ?Bikini Kill?. Through the band?s
message of feminism and equality, she attracted thousand of young female followers
across the country known as ?riot girls?. In the early 90?s Kathleen urged women
everywhere to ?stand up for their rights?, and held several protest rallies. Kathleen and
her supporters also lobbied Congress on such issues as sexual harassment in the work
place. Although the band Bikini Kill has broken up, their international success has spread
her message of feminism to thousand of young females worldwide.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Clinton is not only the current 1st Lady, throughout her life she has
made incredible contributions to education and reform. In 1973, she worked for the
Arkansas Children’s Defense Fund, and later founded the Arkansas Advocates for
Children and Families. She has also made contributions to the Arkansas School systems,
and is responsible for instituting programs for underprivileged families. In 1994, the
President appointed her to head the Task Force on National Healthcare reform. She
recently won a seat in Congress from New York state and will continue her contributions
through that forum.
1. Funk and Wagnall?s New Encyclopedia 1992