Senate Delays Women's Rights Vote

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Senate committee temporarily put off a vote on a long-debated U.N. women's rights treaty that poses a political dilemma for the Bush administration.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee planned to vote on ratification of the
Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The document, already ratified by 169 countries, has sat unaddressed by the Senate since it was signed in 1980 by then-President Carter.

The committee's Republican minority thwarted the vote by invoking a rarely used ``cloakroom rule,'' under which one member can privately object to meeting and the session must adjourn. Chairman Joe Biden, D-Del., rescheduled the meeting for July 25.

About 60 women's rights activists who crowded into a Senate meeting room anticipating a vote instead got assurances from Biden and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., that the matter would be addressed next week.

The lone lawmaker who objected to the vote was not identified. But the committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., is a vigorous opponent of the treaty. Helms' spokesman, Lester Munson, called the document a relic of the past.

Last week, Secretary of State Colin Powell told the committee in a letter that the document was vague and the Justice Department needed to review its legal ramifications.

Even if the Senate committee acts next week, the treaty faces an uphill struggle. Ratification requires a two-thirds majority vote on the Senate floor.

The treaty urges nations to remove barriers to equality for women in education, employment, marriage and divorce, health care, and other areas. Supporters say it acts as a bill of rights for women, helping them fend off oppressive policies like those under the former Taliban government in Afghanistan.

Opponents say the treaty could be used as a vehicle for promoting abortion, legal prostitution and other actions that weaken families.

Only 22 countries have not ratified the treaty. The United States is the lone industrialized nation in that group. Others include Iran and Syria.

Pro-treaty website:

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Louise Noun, Suffragist and DesMoines feminist activist

Louise Noun, an Iowa suffragist, author, a charter member and later president of Des Moines NOW died on August 23 at age 94. Noun wrote several books, including "Strong Minded Women", about Iowa suffragists, and "More Strong Minded Women" --about those who were the 1st leaders of the 2nd Wave of feminism in Iowa. She later established a foundation, Chrysalis, for women and girls. Virginia Watkins, VFA's secretary and convenor of Des MOines NOW chapter, relates that this great feminist was ever ready to be of help for feminist causes.

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Marian Norby

Secretaries were treated like furniture, she said. They went with the office...

Writer, former Information officer for the Air Force, a founding member of D.C. NOW, a charter member of OWL, a leader in the Women's National Democratic Club and an ERA activist until the end, died of complications of Parkinson's disease at age 85 on May 20 in Alexandria, VA.

Marian was a native of Kansas who went to Washington during the war years. It was during her experiences as a secretary that the seeds of feminism were sown. "Secretaries were treated like furniture, she said. They went with the office, while young men climbed the professional ladder and were hired as their bosses."

VFA heard about Marian's feminist activity from our DC members, and honored her with the VFA medal of honor at Sewall Belmont House in Washington in May of 1999. We remember Marian as a gracious and grateful honorree.

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To Russia With Love!
Diana Alstad and Joel Kramer

The Guru Papers released in Russia!


The Guru Papers by Diana Alstad and Joel Kramer, (see VFA Reading Corner) is finally out in Russia! There have been many delays since the Russian contract was signed around 1994 or 95. The book won the Soros Foundation Pushkin award also, for help to libraries in purchasing it.

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Completes Cardiac Yoga Teacher Training®

The following item has been carried in newsletters of the Long Island Yoga Association and Smithtown Business & Professional Women's Network, of which I am a member:

Grace Welch Completes Cardiac Yoga Teacher Training®

On June 9th, VFA officer, Grace Welch completed the internationally known Cardiac Yoga Teacher Training Program® designed to educate and train certified Yoga teachers to work with cardiac patients and their spouses. She has learned how to adapt basic concepts of Yoga and meditation to the special needs of the cardiac patient.

Grace has a home studio in Islandia, Long Island, been studying and practicing Yoga for 27 years, teaching for 13 years. With this new certification she will include stress management, breathing, deep relaxation, imagery and meditation as a mechanisms for healing in her practice, which can be conducted in medical or private settings.

This 10-day course, offered by Integral Yoga, was held in Yogaville, VA, and is based on Dean Ornish's research and well-known book "Reversing Heart Disease."

To attend one of Welch's classes, call:

(212) 685-2848, (631) 348-71 99, or visit

"Golden Yoga" is available through White Lion Press, 1-800- 243-YOGA.


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Louisiana NOW ANNOUNCES CREATION OF LINDA SIEVERS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND. Linda Seivers, who was a beloved, longtime NOW activist, a past president of Louisiana NOW and Mid-South Regional Director, and a VFA member passed on early this year. Her friends in Louisiana have opened a fund in her name to provide travel subsidies to Louisiana NOW menbers attending national NOW conferences.

Make checks payable to:

LA NOW Sievers Memorial Fund

Send to:
Samantha Evans, Treasurer
246 Dalzell St
Shreveport, LA 71104.

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Ruth Rosen
San Francisco Chronicile

E:mail: Ruth Rosen

The original article can be found on here:

SIGMUND FREUD wasn't sure. Neither is George W. Bush. In fact, our president has women problems. Big time. Women find him charming, but they don't like his politics.

Since he took office in January, the gender gap has grown. Married women with children, once Bush's most loyal female constituency, are increasingly alienated by his opposition to environmental protection and reproductive rights.

Forty-seven percent of women, but only 32 percent of men, now say they are more likely to vote for a Democrat. "This is not happy data," laments Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster.

To fix the problem, the Republican National Committee has launched a multimillion-dollar campaign to market the president as though he were a new perfume promoted by Chanel. It's called "Winning Women."

The problem, the Bushies moan, is that women are ungrateful or uninformed and don't give the president proper credit for what he's done. Look at all the women he's appointed to the Cabinet, they whine. And what about that tax refund? What woman doesn't appreciate a little extra pin money?

Bush strategists are proud of their ear-to-the-ground comprehension of women's lives. They are convinced, for example, that women, as the primary caretakers of children, are mad for a missile defense shield that will protect their families from terrorist attacks.

Interestingly, it is Ann Wagner, the 38-year-old suburban mom chosen to lead the campaign, who grasps what tone-deaf Republican strategists don't seem to hear. In an interview with New York Times reporters, Wagner emphasized that the Republican Party needs to address women's crammed, busy lives. "We're juggling a lot of balls," she said.

She's got that right. If you want women's vote, you've got to address their sleep-deprived lives. Promise them affordable, quality child care and good health coverage, raise the minimum wage, support reproductive rights and spend money on protecting the planet, rather than creating new technological marvels that can destroy it.

The way to women's hearts is not by marketing images of a compassionate president. It is by promoting policies that improve their daily lives.

Bill Clinton, who had different kinds of women problems, understood that, and in the 1996 election 16 percent more women chose him over Bush Sr. Squeaky clean, faithful George W. Bush, on the other hand, can't get America's women to support his political agenda. Go figure

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"The Million4Roe Campaign"


The Million4Roe campaign, organized by the
Feminist Majority, has asked us to forward the following message to those users who might be interested in participating in their new online project. While does not take any position on this issue, we provide this service as yet another way to help you get your voice heard in Washington.

Protect Legal Abortion: The Million4Roe Campaign

In 1973, the Supreme Court legalized abortion.

In 2001, Bush wants a recount.

As many as two U.S. Supreme Court justices may retire soon, giving President Bush the opportunity to pack the court with anti-abortion Justices who would vote to OVERTURN Roe v. Wade, relegating women to back alley abortions.

To prevent this, the
Feminist Majority has launched a new online campaign - MILLION4ROE - to gather 1 million signatures in support of a SENATE FILIBUSTER in the event that Bush nominates an anti-choice Justice.

The success of this campaign and the fight to protect women's reproductive freedom depends on activists like you. Donations are needed to keep the fight going all summer long. For every donation of $50 or more, you will receive a FREE t-shirt.

Please click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser to sign the petition, donate or find out more:

Join Gillian Anderson, Dolores Huerta, Ashley Judd and one million voices at and tell Washington:


For equality,

Eleanor Smeal President, Feminist Majority

p.s. Help us spread the word to the millions of pro-choice Americans whose rights would be threatened by an anti-choice Supreme Court nomination.

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Natalie Andre, 55, has been at the helm of the organization of the South Palm Beach County Chapter of the National Organization for Women, one of the most visible of the association’s South Florida groups for the past year and a half. Before that she served as vice president and was an active member.

Andre moved from Manhattan to Florida in 1981 and has lived in Boca Raton since 1987. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Indian studies and a master’s in teaching from the University of Wisconsin.

A former public-school teacher and day-care operator, Andre is presently a freelance computer tutor.A divorced mother of a teenage son and grown daughter, she says the trials of the women within her own family, particularly her grandmother, have helped her identify with NOW’s mission, which includes opening doors for women in education and fighting for equity in the workplace.

Her grandmother, she says, was raised in Poland in a Hassidic Jewish household and went to work at a young age after being denied an education. She and Andre’s grandfather eventually immigrated to America, breaking their ties with what Andre calls an oppressive past. "My grandmother became an anarchist, and my grandfather was a socialist. They got here and they left all of that behind," Andre says. "It was easier for my grandparents to make that break, because they moved from Poland. It’s much harder for people to make that break when they are still in the same culture."

When asked how NOW established such a strong presence in South County, Andre casually shrugs.

"I guess we just happen to have four of five key active, vocal people and then many active members," Andre says. She then smiles and adds, "You know how Boca is in that way."

National Organization of Women South Palm Beach Chapter President Natalie Andre. Andre recently sat down with Staff Writer Maria Barbero at Palm BeachCommunity College, where she teaches a where she teaches a computer class, talk about her experiences with South County NOW, a group that encompasses Boca Raton and Delray Beach and has 550 members.

How did you first become involved in NOW?

I joined NOW around 1989 with the Webster decision, a Supreme Court decision that restricted access to abortion. A lot of people joined then. Our chapter tripled from 200 to 600. People identify NOW with the issue of choice, and so that’s why so many joined. But I wasn’t that active for a few years.

Then in the early ’90s, I became concerned with issues of health and safety when I started working as a volunteer at my son’s elementary school. I campaigned for the kids to use bike helmets, for sex education and other issues.

Contact Natalie Andre here:

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Issue #4, March 2001


Nicely timed for the same day, three ERA resolutions were introduced in Congress on March 22, 2001. Four representatives of The ERA Campaign Network traveled to Washington and took part in the day's events, made good contacts, and helped spread the word. Senators (Corzine-NJ and Schumer-NY), Members of the House, and representatives of the ERA Summit (Roberta Francis and Flora Crater), the National Council of Women's Organizations (Martha Burk), and the Feminist Majority (Eleanor Smeal), as well as others, spoke movingly and strongly of the continuing need for the Equal Rights Amendment, at a press conference in front of the Capitol building.

One of the resolutions specifically addresses the 3-state strategy. The other two reintroduce the ERA (with identical wording) "starting over," that is, aiming for passage through Congress as had occurred in 1972, with fresh ratification by 38 states. While the latter would be a far longer road to take, it provides a solid "fail-safe" alternative approach to achieving the ERA.

This strong "two-prong" approach to the ERA encourages ALL ERA supporters to work together to gather support and educate the public and lawmakers, with the goal of adding the ERA to our Constitution by whatever strategy WORKS! For example, should three more states ratify, but ERA nevertheless be politically, legally, or Constitutionally stalled or "invalidated" on some pretext, we can help create a huge public outcry and much publicity. That could then be channeled into an unstoppable surge, to win the ERA all over again by repeating the entire amending process -- this time without a ratification time limit.

Also, the many Members of Congress who co-sponsor and support a "start-over" ERA resolution thus demonstrate their understanding that the ERA is a matter of long-overdue simple justice. They can surely be educated and persuaded to co-sponsor/support the 3-state strategy as well, on precisely the same grounds.


Rep. Robert Andrews (Democrat - New Jersey) reintroduced his Resolution "requiring the House of Representatives to take any legislative action necessary to verify the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment as a part of the Constitution, when the legislatures of an additional 3 states ratify the Equal Rights Amendment." In this Congress, the Resolution is identified as H.RES.98.

As this newsletter is being prepared, efforts are already underway to identify a Senator who will introduce the necessary similar resolution in the Senate. Let us know if YOUR state has a Senator who would be a good candidate to do so!


Also on March 22, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced, with lead co-sponsor Rep. Stephen Horn (R-CA) and 159 additional co-sponsors (with more added since then), her H.J.RES.40 resolution for the ERA, "proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to equal rights for men and women;" the ERA wording is identical to that passed in the 1972 Congress. The resolution aims at starting the amending process over, that is, getting the Amendment passed by two-thirds of both Houses of Congress, and then ratified by the necessary 38 states (3/4ths of the total 50).

On the same day, Sen. Edward (Ted) Kennedy (D-MA) introduced, with sixteen co-sponsors, the Senate version, S.J.RES.10, of Rep. Maloney's House Resolution.


Please contact your Representative and urge him/her to co-sponsor and support BOTH the ERA Resolutions in the House. (Contact information on Representatives is on the website .) You can tailor your message depending upon where your Representative now stands. (Please let us know when you make contact, and what response you receive.)

Just as important, please contact your Senators and urge them to co-sponsor/support S.J.RES.10, Sen. Edward Kennedy's "start over" ERA Resolution. (Contact information on Senators is on the website .) Please let us know when you make contact, and what response you receive.) Following are the 16 Senators who, as of 3/22/01, co-sponsor the Resolution in addition to Sen. Kennedy: Senators Biden, Boxer, Cantwell, Clinton, Corzine, Dayton, Dodd, Feingold, Feinstein, Kerry, Lieberman, Mikulski, Murray, Sarbanes, Schumer, and Snowe.

AND please let us know if one of your Senators may be a likely candidate to introduce a Senate version of Andrews' 3-state strategy House resolution!


In Illinois, one of the fifteen as yet unratified states, a House committee recently passed an ERA bill unanimously! It now goes to the floor of the House. And in Missouri, where the legislature came very close to ratifying the ERA in last year's session, ERA supporters are currently working very hard and actively to achieve it in THIS year's session. Organizing is also underway in other unratified states, notably Oklahoma and Florida.

If YOU have news re the ERA or ERA organizing in any unratified state, please let us know. The unratified states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.


NEW JERSEY: Jennifer Macleod (editor of The ERA Campaigner), Princeton Junction NJ,, tel. 609-799-0378; Dorie Rothman, Lawrenceville NJ,, tel. 609-882-6815; Esther Gelbard, Monroe Twp. NJ,, tel. 609-409-1790

NEW YORK: Sherry Rogers, Brooklyn NY,, tel. 718-263-7638

MISSOURI: Shirley Breeze, Florisant MO,, tel. 314-831-5359; Carol Conway, Springfield MO,, tel. 417-886-7084; Mary Mosley,

KANSAS: Sharon Lockhart, Leawood KS,, tel. 913-642-1614

OKLAHOMA: Leona Evans, Lawton OK,, tel. 580-536-4434

MICHIGAN: Laura Callow, Livonia MI,, tel. 734-425-3572

MARYLAND: Christine Brodak, Baltimore MD,, tel. 410-383-0883

FLORIDA: Sandy J. Oestreich, St. Petersburg FL,

To be added to the list to receive future issues of
The ERA Campaigner, e-mail


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1952 Coca Cola poster featuring a women's baseball team.

Do Things Go Better With Coke?

SOURCE: Archives of the Coca Cola company. The poster was reprinted in 1991 and sold as a postcard entitled "Play Refreshed". It was from an original painting by Haddon Sundblom, and captioned:

"In a switch of gender roles unusual for the 1950's, a boy serves frosty bottles of Coca Cola to a girls' baseball team."

(Courtesy of the Davis Dismore Archives)

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VFA is still searching for early activists in every state, those stalwart warriors who accomplished lmiracles in the 1970's and 1980's. Many of these troops are still suffering battle fatique, and with the political atmosphere of the times, are reluctant to come forward. Help us find them and present them with our medal of honor and the thanks they deserve!

Contact Jacqui Ceballos:

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VDay at Madison Square Garden

Grace Welch Reporting:

I saw subject extravaganza at the
GARDEN on Saturday, February 10th with one of my private Yoga students who lives in Flushing - I drove in, picked her up, and we ate at Daniella's, a very fine Italian restaurant on 28th St. 8th Ave. The GARDEN was packed! Close to 20,000 people! While I had seen the Monologues twice before - done entirely by the author and performer, Eve Ensler, this night the monologues were delivered by Celebrities -- OPRAH, GLENN CLOSE, JANE FONDA, CALISTA FLOCKHART, SWOOZIE KURTZ, AMY IRVING, ROSIE PEREZ,GLORIA STEINEM, BROOKE SHIELDS, QUEEN LATIFAH, PHOEBE SNOW, LINDA ELLERBEE, and others whom I am not familiar with because I don't watch TV that much. I must say it was wonderful to see Glenn Close and Jane Fonda deliver their lines - I just enjoy so much a fine actress doing her work. Jane Fonda was excellent, she did: "I Was in the Room", about watching a vagina change and open up during the delivery of a baby, and I was thinking what a fine audition piece that would make. I hope that Jane comes back to film - she has enough money to act, direct and produce her own! She gave $1 million to the VDay project! The show will travel to over 450 schools World Wide through the V-Day College Initiative - Hofstra will have their show in March, I believe. I see that Carnegie-Mellon is listed.

OPRAH did a special piece "Under the Burqa" describing what it is like being covered by the fundamentalist garment that the Taliban in Afghanistan decreed all women and girls must wear. Oprah then led a young woman completely covered head to toe in a white burqa onto the stage.,( because in a burqa there is no peripheral vision) Women of all ages, professional and economic status are forbidden to work, go to school, appear on streets without a male relative, drive a car and prohibited from going to most hospitals or seeking care from male doctors, so that women and girls are dying from easily treatable diseases. She ended with an appeal for us not to forget our sisters who are suffering. One of the handouts was a little piece of mesh attached to a pin to be worn as a reminder of what's going on in fundamentalist Muslim countries. They also gave out red V pins. This is the area that Jay Leno's wife is very much involved in, along with the Feminist Majority Foundation.

The fact that this project received high-profile corporate sponsorship bodes well for the future of feminist activism. The demystification of the word Vagina and all its correlates revises and expands the entire scope of what it means to be female. Change must come from the female side of the equation. Eve Ensler has had the courage to create and produce a vehicle to empower women. I would love to see it produced at the United Nations in Full Session!

Keep on truckin'!

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VFA Celebrates Women's Strike for Equality
October 18th, 2000

(photo by Dell Williams)

 left to right:

  • Anne Stewart, South Suffolk NOW, Publicity Chair
  • Deborah Larkin, Marketing Executive
  • Noreen McDonald, South Suffolk NOW, Suffolk Community College
  • Sondra Dale, Huntington Bay, Long Island
  • Carmen Hendershott, New School University
  • Nora Bourrut, South Suffolk NOW Reproductive Rights, VFA
  • Grace Welch, SecyfTreas VFA, South Suffolk NOW

Words an thoughts from those who attended...

It's been almost two weeks since our glorious evening, and I'm still under the spell of what went on that night! (And, I'm not easily impressed.) Thank you for keeping the feminist history alive, via these incredible events. A lot of books have been written about those days, but to hear the narrative on October 18 was real history. I wish we could have stayed at the Armory for days, weeks. That is how much fun it was.

Karen DeCrow - Syracuse


The OCT 18 event was great! It was so nice to meet you & I'm so glad you got VFA going. If there is any way I can be of help, let me know. I do have my computer, altho am not terribly knowlegable or skilled with it. I do hope to attend some future meetings.

Thank you,

Virginia Smith Watkins

More thoughts from Virginia Watkins

As a new member, I was quite thrilled to attend the October 18 event - Celebrating the Womens' Strike for Equality.

First I want to thank all of you who put this wonderful event together.

Secondly, I want to tell all of you out there - join us, and attend the next event. We heard tales from Susan Brownmiller about the Ladies Home Journal sit in.

Carole DeSaram about stopping the ticker at the Stock Market.

Many others including awesome stories from those of us who became active during or after the Womens' Strike.

We saw a great slide show put together by Mary Vailiades.

We were awarded medals for our involvement.

It was wonderful to be among several of the well known authors from that era whose books helped to pioneer the womens' movement. And it was great to be in the company of all these friends - old and new. It was nostalgic, historical, and a great affirmation to know that all the blood, sweat and tears is recognized.

Virginia Smith Watkins

Dearest Jacqui and all those who made the VFA evening possible,

I can't begin to put into words how much I will treasure the evening!

Not only was I treated to the wonderful slide show which brought back faces and names I thought I'd forgotten, but the recollections of my sisters (and brother) of the days that changed our lives forever served to recharge my feminist batteries. That evening gave me just the push I needed to redouble my efforts to see the Equal Rights Amendment written into the US Constitution.

Thank you so much for all your efforts. I'll treasure my "medal" and work hard to bring honor to it.

In loving sisterhood and with great admiration

Sherry Rogers

Jacqui Ceballos received the following:

Sharon Berman, a guest at the VFA Celebration of the 30th anniversary of the March and Strike for Equality in New York City mentions VFA in a letter she wrote to editors of TIME...This is in response to a TIME letter "To Our Readers" with news of Don Morrison and his wife, Ann, " Two Editors For One."


Good grief!
Reading that Don Morrison "and his wife" are moving to new jobs as editors took me back 30 years. Last week I attended a meeting of the
Veteran Feminists of America and we reminisced about great moments in the Women's Movement. A high point was occupying John Mack Carter's office at the
Ladies Home Journal. Some of us are a little old to sit on the floor at Time, but perhaps we could bring folding chairs?

Please tell me that Ann Morrison's name won't appear on the masthead with the title "his wife".

It's been a long time since I signed anything this way, but....

In Sisterhood,

Sharon Berman
New York City

I thought this dinner was the best yet. Don't quite know why. Maybe because your list has extended to the previously untapped. Or maybe because it was fantastic to hear from the unsung early volunteers.

Susan Brownmiller

(See VFA's Special Issue "OCTOBER 18th" listed in theVFA Directory)

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UNHCR Gallery of Prominent Refugees
Congratulations to Sonia Pressman Fuentes

We're delighted to share with you the wonderful news that Sonia's bio is now included in some very distinguished company in the Gallery of Prominent Refugees created by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to commemorate its 50th anniversary.

Visit the Gallery at:

When you get to that site, you need to click on Gallery of Prominent Refugees in the left margin and then the letters E-H on the right to get to Fuentes.

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Welcome to
ERA Campaigner
Year 2000 Issue #1

By signing a petition, joining an ERA task force, or otherwise, you've recently expressed your support for efforts to add to the US Constitution THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT ("Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex"), by means of the "3-state" strategy. By doing so, you've joined many other supporters and activists in THE ERA CAMPAIGN NETWORK -- not a top-down "organization" but a NETWORK OF PARTNERS supporting and/or working in the effort, all around the nation!

This is the first issue of an online newsletter BY and FOR all of us ERA supporters and activists, helping us to be connected and informed and working together. More will follow in later issues, and we're developing our own ERA CAMPAIGN NETWORK WEBSITE. But in the meantime, excellent and extensive information on the ERA and the 3-state strategy is available at, a website jointly sponsored by the ERA Summit and the National Council of Women's Organizations (NCWO). Should you also want our brief 2-page background "white paper" on the subject, e-mail us at (Note: Should you wish NOT to receive further issues of The ERA Campaigner, just let us know by e-mail.)

NOW, here's how we can all help the ERA CAMPAIGN RIGHT NOW:

Help Missouri Ratify!

ERA activists in (unratified) Missouri are extraordinarily dedicated, well organized, and well-poised to achieve ratification in the very next session of their legislature. But they need additional funds, quickly, to succeed. Please send your check -- any amount extremely welcome, although of course the more the better, to
Missouri ERA, or their PAC, MOERAPAC, 1825 S. Dollison, Springfield MO 65807. For more information, e-mail

Hold an ERA Yard Sale to Celebrate August 26th!

Saturday August 26 is the 80th anniversary of American women finally winning the right to vote under the 19th Amendment. What a great day to join with like-minded others to hold a yard sale to benefit, and organize for, the SECOND vital women's rights addition to the Constitution, the long overdue Equal Rights Amendment! The idea is catching on all over the country, as a terrific way to clear our homes of excess once-loved items, raise money for the ERA, spread the word, and have fun at the same time. An inexpensive newspaper ad will bring in scads of people, ready to buy, and to learn about and get involved in the ERA Campaign. Funds raised can be sent directly to the urgent Missouri ratification effort, at the postal address given in the previous paragraph. For more information, ideas, and ERA literature,
contact Dorie Rothman by e-mail,, or by telephone at 609-882-6815.

Help The ERA Campaign Network GROW!

We'd like to hear from you: your ERA news and views; your relevant skills and/or resources; your affiliations (organizations to which you belong that support or could support the ERA Campaign); and/or contact information for any and all other current or potential ERA supporters (don't worry about possible duplications). And if you'd like to take on a bigger role by acting as a "NODE" in the ERA Campaign Network, great, just let us know!


Jennifer Macleod (pro-tem editor of The ERA Campaigner), Princeton Junction, New Jersey,, tel. 609-799-0378

Sherry Rogers, Brooklyn, New York,, tel. 718-263-7638

Carol Conway, Springfield, Missouri,, tel. 417-886-7084

Sharon Lockhart, Leawood, Kansas,, tel. 913-642-1614

Dorie Rothman, Lawrenceville, NJ,, tel. 609-882-6815

Let's go all the way with the ERA!

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"Women and Abortion: Another Voice"
Forwarded from Judith Meuli
Letters needed!

On Tuesday, May 9, 2000, an Open Forum article, written by anti-choice activists, appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. This piece was titled
"Women and Abortion: Another Voice" and was a response to pro-choice ads appearing on public transportation in the Bay Area (these same ads first appeared in New York City). One of the ads, put out by the Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP), says that "77% of anti-abortion leaders are men. 100% of them will never be pregnant." PEP did a national survey in order to arrive at that number.

Yet the Open Forum authors find it laughable that such claim is being made and argue that there are many other strong women anti-abortion leaders like themselves. They also claim to represent "a new feminism that is much more radical in what it requires of men, women and society than that of our
opponents, who still rely on abortion as the guarantor of women's equality."

Take Action: Join a nationwide campaign to write a letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. PEP ads are scheduled to appear in other locations around the country and a new television ad is set to air nationwide. It is important to voice your support for pro-choice advertisements as well as counter some false claims made by the authors.

Letters should be 250 words or less; shorter letters have a better chance of publication. Letters must include your name, address and telephone number. Please feel free to make the following points:

Feminists and pro-choice activists have never claimed that abortion will guarantee women's equality. This is preposterous. Rather the point of pro-choice activism is that women must have full control over their reproductive lives and that until this happens, women will not achieve equality. In addition, the pro-choice stance argues that women need to have access to information and services, so they can make their own informed decisions about their bodies. This decision should not be imposed by
strangers who are against abortion, even if these strangers are "feminist" women.

The authors claim that they represent a new feminism that is more radical in what it requires of men, women and society. They ignore the fact that most anti-abortion organizations support abstinence-only sexuality education, oppose contraception, and oppose social welfare programs aimed at helping
women and children. In other words, most anti-abortion groups oppose abortion but do not advocate for prevention of unintended pregnancy or better quality of life for children once they are born.

The authors claim that women who have had abortions "often come away with emotional scars, increased likelihood of future infertility and miscarriage." This claim ignores the fact that there is only increased risk for infertility and miscarriage when women don't have access to safe, legal, affordable abortion services and the full range of reproductive health services, including sexuality education, and contraception. Furthermore, the most comprehensive study to date of the emotional results of abortion, conducted by the American Psychological Assoction, shows that emotional stress after an abortion directly relates to the woman's emotional state prior to the abortion, not the abortion itself.

Send your letters one of the following ways:

By email:

By fax: 415-543-7708

By mail:
Letters to the Editor
San Francisco Chronicle
901 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

Contact Judith Meuli Here:

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Dell Williams letter to Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, Washington, D.C.

©1977, Bettye Lane

Dear Sisters:

I have to express my extreme disappointment over the stamp selected to represent the Women's Rights Movement in the Celebrate the Century 70's series issued recently by the U.S. Post Office. This stamp was shown at a reception I attended with other feminists at Alice Adams House in New York City. Several women standing around me also expressed their anger and resentment at the stamp selected. It was not the stamp we expected to be chosen, the one that they themselves had requested 3 years earlier from the well-known news-joumalist Bettye Lane, whose photographs so vividly capture the passion and courage of the women of the 2nd wave of the women's rights movement.

Instead of selecting Bettye Lane's image, which showed women marching together during the 1977 Women's March for Equality, they chose the passive and benign white dove of peace symbol of UNIFEM (The United Nations Development Fund). While other major event stamps showed people in action, ours showed the peaceful dove, hardly representative of a dynamic movement that changed history and the active women who created it.

The back of the stamp read, "The Women's Rights Movement mobilized to secure women's equality, their political and economic empowerment and respect for their human rights. The United Nations Development Fund (UNIFEM) promoted these efforts worldwide."

This U.N. agency did help to promote human rights for women, but only after we raised their consciousness. Why didn't the Post office choose women on the stamp that represented the Women's Movement? Again, as in history past, women are invisible, even in an event that celebrates women's rights. I call upon all women to express their outrage and disappointment at this selection. When I originally voiced my concerns to the Postmaster of New York City at the reception she requested that Bettye send her all the correspondence and the stamp image that had been previously selected by the Post Office to represent the Women's Rights Movement of the 70's. They responded in a letter to Bettye Lane, which read:

"While your image was not chosen in the Celebrate the Century 1970's series, we will forward your image to the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, 475 LEnfant Plaza, Room 4474, Washington, D.C. 20260-9998 for consideration in future stamp issues."

The women's movement stamp is supposed to be symbolic of one of the most outstanding events of the 70's. You can obtain this series at your local Post Office. Take a look at the series. Compare the UNIFORM stamp to those representing other events of the decades and you will see people in action. Compare the UNIFORM stamp with Bettye's stamp shown above.

If you agree with me that their original selection of Bettye Lane's stamp is far more representative of the Women's Rights Movement, write to the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee at 475 LEnfant Plaza, Room 4474, Washington, D.C. 20260-9998.

Bettye's stamp represented WOMEN IN ACTION.

(Bettye Lane)

WOMEN IN ACTION changed the consciousness of the world. Enough protests may get the Bettye Lane stamp in circulation as the true representation of the Movement.

In Sisterhood and Solidarity,

Dell Williams

(Dell Williams is one of the founders and Eastern Regional Membership Chair of VFA)

Contact Jacqui Ceballos with your Feedback:

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MAURA McNIEL of Dallas and Los Altos, CA has donated her Oracle stock to VFA. It is VFA's first stock donation.

Maura hails from Dallas, where she shook up the city for years with her feminist activity. She is a founder of the Women's Center, Family Place for Battered Women, worked for Displaced Homemakers, legislation, on the ERA campaign, helped start the Women's Fund and, in 1979 started an association to honor women of achievement. In '86 it was renamed the "Maura McNiel" award. VFA is honoring her in Washington on April 28th, 2000.

Maura wants to help defray VFA expenses and build up a treasury to insure VFA's continuance . She reminds us that donating stock benefits the doner as well as the donee, and hopes others join her in helping VFA go into the future.

Stock left (in one's will) to VFA ( a 501-c-3 organization) will go to the organziation upon one's death. The estate doesn't pay taxes on it, nor will VFA, so it benefits both parties. VFA can keep the stock,, or sell it.

To learn more, please get in touch with Aleta Styers:
Phone: 212-872-2248 (days) or 212-421-1178 (eves);
Fax: 212-688-7148,
E-mail Aleta Styers here:

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The Women's Rights Movement Was Born

Permanent display of life size bronze statues in the foyer of the Park Visitor Center.

"We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men and women are created equal." Declaration of Sentiments,1848

One hundred and fifty years ago, a small group of people gathered in Seneca Falls, New York to take a stand for Women's Rights. July 19th and 20th, 1848, they hosted the first Women's Rights Convention to discuss the plight of women. They presented the Declaration of Sentiments, a document identifying women's issues and offering solutions. The decision to seek the right to vote, culminating in the ratification of the 19th amendment seventy two years later, was one of the outcomes of this historic gathering.

Today in Seneca Falls, the Women's Rights National Historical Park, created by Congress in 1980, celebrates this historic event through interpretation,,historical sites and educational programs. The Park includes many sites: the Wesleyan Chapel, the Declaration of Sentiments Waterwall, the Visitor Center, the Stanton House and the M'Clintock House. The rich history of the Women's movement is presented through diverse exhibits, programs, and events, in the Visitor Center and through the preservation of historical sites.

Another small group of women has gathered now to insure that the work of the Women's Rights National Historical Park continues The group, The Friends of Women's Rights National Park, Inc. is a non-profit organization, committed to raising awareness and funds to insure that this park is positioned to continue the great work begun here far into the future.

Our Vision is to insure in perpetuity the preservation of the Park for the inspiration and full achievement of equality for all.

Our Mission is to inspire individuals to support this Park dedicated to Women's Rights. To achieve this mission, the Friends will actively engage in:

This nationally focused organization supports the Park because of its significance to the positive development of girls and women.

Visit The Friends of Women's Rights National Park website here: Friends

Email Dorothy Fenton for additional info:

You can make a difference at the Women's Rights National Historic Park by sending them a tax deductible gift!

You can make your check payable to:

The Friends of Women's Right's National Park, Inc.
PO Box 145
Seneca Falls, NY 13148


Fax: 315-568-2141

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National Women's History Project Event

The National Women's History Project
Mary Ruthsdotter is Communications Director.

National Women's History Project is a non-profit corporation that is self-supporting through the sale of materials and services, and through donations from our national constituency.

Washington D.C. -- March 22, 2000: The White House Office for Women's Initiative and Outreach commemorated National Women's History Month by serving as co-host of "An Extraordinary Century for Women," a celebration program honoring the Women's History Project. The project is recognized for initiating the month of March as National Women's History Month, two decades of pioneering work in the field of women's history, mobilizing the country to recognize and celebrate the lives of women and providing educational materials to "write women back into history."

The event, held in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol, was hosted by The President's Commission on the Celebration of Women in American History, The Congressional Women's Caucus and The
National Women's History Project. The program included several speakers: Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Ca.); Ann Lewis, Co-chair of the President's Commission on the Celebration of Women in American History; Reps. Carolyn Moloney (D-N.Y.) and Sue Kelly (R-N.Y.), Co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues; Lauren Supina, Director of the White House Office on Women's Initiatives and Outreach; LaDonna Harris, Commissioner of the President's Commission for the Celebration of Women in American History; and Josie Fernandez, Superintendent of the Women's Rights National Historical Park. Representing members of Congress, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) made remarks honoring 20th Century women and Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) will receive special recognition at the program. In addition, The Ellington School of Arts Choir, the Sidwell Friends School and Urban Nation Girls Ensemble, performed.

National Women's History Project (NWHP) was founded in 1980 in Santa Rosa, Calif. as an educational nonprofit corporation. The project's mission is to celebrate and recognize the diverse and historic accomplishments of women by providing information and educational materials and programs to the public. The project first led the effort to have the week of March 8, International Women's Day, recognized as National Women's History Week and then to have the entire month of March declared as National Women's History Month.

In 1987, the National Women's History Project petitioned Congress to expand the national celebration to the entire month of March. Since then, the National Women's History Month Resolution has been approved with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. Each year, programs and activities in schools, workplaces, and communities have become more extensive as information and program ideas have been developed and shared.

President Clinton established the President's Commission on the Celebration of Women in American History to consider how best to acknowledge and celebrate the roles and accomplishments of women in American History. The commission holds meetings across the United States to consider ideas for such celebrations, including focal points for women's history in Washington D.C., and the use of technology to connect existing and planned historical sites, museums and libraries. The first meeting of the commission was held on July 16, 1998, at the Candalgua County Courthouse, the site where Susan B. Anthony was tried and convicted for voting.

President Clinton created the White House Office for Women's Initiatives and Outreach on June 7, 1995, to serve as a liaison between the White House and the women's community. The women's office contributes to the development of Administration policy as it relates to women and families, often bringing the concerns of outside experts and constituency groups into the policy-making process. Inside the White House, the women's office advocates for issues important to women, including Social Security, Medicare and healthcare reform, pay equity, domestic violence prevention, balancing work and family, reproductive rights and family planning.

Visit the NWHP Website: National Women's History Project

7738 Bell Rd
Windsor, CA 95492

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We, as mothers, endorse the following:

Join this grassroots movement in this way:

You can donate online ( or send your donation to:

Million Mom March
P.O. Box 1686
West Caldwell, NJ 07007

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EXPO 2000

Reports from Dell Williams and Jacqui Ceballos

FEMINIST EXPO 2000 - Held March 30th to April 2 in Baltimore.

Dell Williams of New York talks about some of the Friday and Saturday events:
It was awesome ! My jaw literally dropped open at the sight of this convention hall as big as three football fields. Besides that, there were three floors of workshops and ball rooms . Over 6000 participants took part, including indpendent women and men and 575 national and international cosponsors representing everything from local college groups to international human rights organizations, including Afghanistan women working from the Pakistan border to restore human rights to women in their country .

There were hundreds of booths -- devoted to everything from women's health to the sale of beautiful African artifacts. I was particularly struck by the many booths taken by state police departments with policewomen in uniform there to recruit women . Remember when the shoe was on the other foot?!!

Ellie Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority responsible for this tremendous event opened the program. A letter of greeting from President Clinton was read , and several political women spoke -- among them, Senator Diana Feinstein, Lt Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former Senator Carol Mosely Braun and Congresswoman Barbara Boxer. Gloria Steinem introduced women from most of the organizations represented and, as always, her words were eloquent and her incisive comments were fresh and inspirational!. There were appearances by Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of a book on the life of Eleanor Roosevelt; author/activists Mary Daly, Charlotte Bunch and Letty Cottin Pogrebin and women leaders from around the globe.

Friday evening entertainment led by Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless was a high. Remember their series, "Cagney and Lacey?" It was the first TV series to show positive images of women. Tyne and Sharon have been strong supporters of the ERA, and were there to help revive the ERA campaign. There were music performances by Holly Neary and Ronnie Gilbert Both women were spectacular!

Feminist Expo 2000 was a formidable example of woman power. Constantly going through my mind was -- "What we have wrought is awesome. What we fought for has taken root and is stirring women all over the world. We veterans of the women's revolution should feel pride in knowing that this, indeed, is what we have created! In my view, the next wave must be global and the next expo should be called, "WOMEN OF THE WORLD UNITE. The next wave will be the tidal wave!

Dell Williams joined NYNOW after the 1970 march, was head of the first women's sexuality committee and founded Eve's Garden, a shop for women's pleasure. She is a founder and board member of VFA and recently accepted the position as Eastern Regional Membership Chair.)

Barbara Love reports:We were a small group of committed VFAers and we got the word out and around the FemExpo with a great booth on the corner. VFA and the Feminist Pioneers Directory, the Queens Women's Center(Ann Jarwin) , New Haven Women's Liberation Reunion (Chris Pattee) and Yoga for Women--New York (That's Grace Welch) shared the space. That made it fun. Grace donated a Kate Millett print--the famous one with the breast that says "sometimes you are on top
of the world." It brought in almost $200. Jacqui brought some great old feminist pictures which people loved to look at. And Winne Wacker sold some of her children's books too. All donated to the booth, which kept the costs low for everyone.In addition, Jacqui ran a really good workshop. She did an amazing job. The Expo was large and I was very impressed there were so many young people there--from 140 colleges, I heard. So there are a lot of young women out there carrying on what the pioneers started. That warms the heart. Some of them really appreciated us. But the thing they liked best about our
booth was the "Fuck Housework" poster Jacqui pinned up. We could have sold dozens.

From Jacqui Ceballos, President of VFA:
"Well, I thought, I've " been there, done that." I was sure I could no longer be moved. But I was. Picture a vast space filled with over 6000 women from around the world, all ages, races, sizes, shapes. And 575 booths representing all manner of human rights organizations, as well as police officers, health, computor, educators, and exotic African clothing. I ran around meeting women I'd been in contact with by phone and email, but didn't know, and saw friends from around the country.

Veteran Feminists of America shared a booth with Barbara Love and the Pioneer Feminist Directory, Ann Jawin and Queen's Women's Center, Grace Welch's Yoga , Chris Pattee and New Haven Women's Liberation and Winnie Wackwitz of Plano, Texas, who was selling her little book for young girls, "Mystery of the Swamp Lights" for VFA's benefit. Dell Williams of New York and Diana Gartner of Baltimore helped. We auctioned off a Kate Millett etching, donated by Grace Welch. Our booth displayed photos from the 1970 march, articles and pictures of veteran feminists, and the posters. The big surprise was the popularity of the "Fuck Housework' poster by Shirley Boccaccio, an original from 1971. Everyone wanted to buy a copy. Late Saturday a woman wanted to buy it. "How much would you pay for it , I asked? When she said ten dollars, Barbara Love interrupted -"I'll give you $25.00. " That was it. Later Barbara and the others educated me on the value of an original poster like this. Outcome - we've gotten the artist's permission to sell originals for $25 and make copies and sell them for $10.00

We had a workshop, which was to be a dialogue with young feminists, but participants were veteran feminists . Perhaps because we weren't listed in the program ( the workshop was given to us a zero hour) . Nevertheless, it was exciting. We were about 25, including two we're honoring this April 28, Kappie Spencer of Iowa and Karline Tierney of Maryland, and past honorees, Gene Boyer of Wisconsin and Allie Hixson of Kentucky as well as our own crew. Each spoke of her current involvement. It's mind-boggling. These veteran feminists will die in the trenches.

I attended both evening events…The second featured
"The Vagina Monologues" the off-B'way sensation. Some at our table (including me) didn't find it funny, but we were the minority, as the laughter , whistles and yells from the audience was deafening. . Diana Gartner later told me I had no sense of humor.

Each evening of this 4-day conference I'd limp away feeling my body had had it, and the next morning I'd be fired up with adrenaline. But by Saturday late I was ready to call it quits. The other booth-sharers stayed til the end, and, they say, every minute was worth it!

COUNTERING THE RADICAL RIGHT: I thought the most frightening and important message from the conference was the story of the Religious Right. Films were shown of its leaders making speeches declaring a war on feminists, gays, any group they consider "liberal" in their effort to take over the government and "bring the country back to it's christian origins." Read Diana Gartner's report on this .

Contact Jacqui Ceballos for further details at:

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So it seemed for several years. Things are changing. At NOW's convention this July -- Ivy Bottini, the New York chapter's third president (1969/71) led a "Pass the Torch" ceremony, in which pioneer activists passed a torch to their younger sisters . VFA members, Grace Welch and Barbara Love report it was "very moving."

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Year 2000 Maryland Women's Hall of Fame

Maryland: From Lynda Tison, Joan Stern's Legislative Aide.

Congratulations to Sonia Pressman Fuentes! She's been selected for induction in the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame!

The induction ceremony was on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 in the Joint Hearing Room of the Legislative Services Building in Annapolis. Del. Stern was there to say a few words.

Presentation by Sonia Pressman Fuentes
at Her Induction into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame, Annapolis, Maryland
March 21, 2000

"Governor Glendening, Mrs. Glendening, Lieutenant Governor Townsend, Delegate Conroy, Delegate Stern, Ms. Battaglia, other distinguished guests, awardees, and my friends who are here with me today:

In the 1960s, when I was an attorney with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission working to eliminate sex discriminiaton in employment, friends advised me to leave the field of women's rights as it would not advance my legal career. I chose not to listen to them, and that decision has brought me to this exceptional honor this evening. More importantly, I hope that my work for women's rights has played a role in what has been called the single most outstanding phenomenon of the 20th century: the increase in the number and proportion of women in the work force.

We have seen nothing less than a legal revolution in women's rights since November 1, 1963, when, three weeks before his assassination, President Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Interdepartmental Committee on the Status of Women and the Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

Much remains to be done to ensure that the United States can have the benefit of the talents and abilities of all its citizens. But by honoring me today, you indicate the importance this issue has to Maryland and the country.

I thank you for that."

Contact Sonia for more info at:

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Charlotte Bunch, an international women's rights activist, instrumental in securing the inclusion of gender and sexual orientation on the global human rights agenda, recieved one of the four awards given in honor of Eleanor Roosevelt by President Clinton this week.

This is what the president said: " Through her work with the Center for Women's Global Leadership and at the U.N. Human Rights Conferences in Vienna and Beijing, Charlotte Bunch has built a worldwide network of activists and raised awareness of discrimination against women, gender violence, gay and lesbian rights, and other critical issues. We honor her for her courageous advocacy and activism."

Congratulations, Charlotte. You deserve this!

Also honored was Dolores Huertas, an activist for Chicano rights who worked with Cesar Chavez.

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Excerpts from Chicago Tribune article 9/29/99.

In 1966, when the National Organization for Women was founded, Michelle Devine wasn't even born…..In 1978 when 100,000 men and women marched in support of the Equal Rights Amendment, Devine was just 6…..But she's come a long way -and today is 28 and the president of the Chicago chapter of NOW , which boasts 2000 members…

Devine is deeply involved in feminist causes and wants to make one thing completely clear:
FEMINISM IS NOT DEAD. It is not facing extinction…she and others are ready, willing and able to pick up the mantle and continue the fight.

Andrea Lea, president of the 2500 member Boston chapter of NOW says "There is a younger generation of women out t here who care passionately about women's rights and appreciate the work of those who came before them….

Galen Sherwin, 27, president of the New York City chapter, is optimistic that all the goals of the feminist movement can be accomplished in her lifetime…but her optimism is tempered with a good dose of reality. "Women still earn 75 cents to every dollar earned by men, violence against women is still the most under-prosecuted crime and abortion rights are clearly under attack.

To read the complete article -check out the NOW web page:

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Hunger Site

Just One Click of your mouse can feed the hungry! Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger; 3/4 of the deaths are children under 5. Visit The Hunger Site Home. Donate Food for FREE to Give to Feed Hungry People in the World.

If you click onto and then click the button as instructed there, sponsoring corporations will provide food for hungry people in developing countries. You can do this once a day. One LITTLE click can make a BIG difference in the lives of so many! Do it once a day!

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Founding members of New York Association of Women Business Owners:
Founders of the New York Women's Business Owners, Vicki Moss, Karen Olson, Donna Ferrante, Riva Calevsky, Jacqui Ceballos, Sharon Berman and Ava Stern have been meeting and are planning a reunion for the Spring of 2001. New York chapter members are founders of the thriving National Association of Women Business Owners, which has chapters in every little city around the nation. For more info get in touch with Vicki Moss at:

(Some of the Founders, picture circa 1974
Top Row: Donna ( Loercher) Ferrante, Vicki Moss, Jacqui Ceballos, Bernice Malamud
Bottom Row: ?, Sharon Berman, Reva Calevsky, Karen Olson, Ava Stern)

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Will the history of the modern feminist movement be included in all these museums in the importance it deserves? These wonderful places like Seneca Falls and the Women's Hall of Fame honor one or two of the best known feminists, and ignore the majority of feminist activists. Most of their honorees are women who have contributed to society in many ways, but hardly as feminists. Perhaps we veterans should have a wall somewhere, with names of the feminists, the "crazy radicals" as many called us, who worked so hard for all this to happen, and who may well be forgotten.

What do you think?

Click Here to contact Jacqui Ceballos, President of VFA:

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VFA Members: Virginia Whitehill (honored by VFA April '98), Louise Raggio (honored by VFA May '99), the late Hermine Tobolsky (honored by VFA May '94) selected TEXAS WOMEN OF THE CENTURY!

VFA members, Louise Raggio, Virginia Whitehill and the late Hermine Tobolsky of Dallas have been selected as TEXAS WOMEN OF THE CENTURY . Also selected are former governor Ann Richards , Barbara Jordan and Liz Carpenter. The honorees were chosen by the Texas Women's Chamber of Commerce with input from all women's organizations in Texas.

above: Virginia Whitehill (honored April 1998) introduced by
living legend Attorney Louise Raggio (honored May 1999)

Highlite of Virginia Whitehill

Virginia, a founding member of VFA and on our board, certainly deserves it. She was chosen for, among other things, "shattering barriers, forging trails, fighting and winning rights and opportunities which women today take for granted. The honorees " served as catalysts of two important trends of the century - the expanded roles available to women and the corresponding improvement of women's status."

She has been a strong supporter of VFA and is :"Our Woman in Dallas" -that incredible city that has given us Roe v Wade, Helen Hunt of the Sister Foundation, and the National Women's Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian.

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Sexual Inequality Is Found in Medical Faculties
February 10, 2000

Female doctors are more likely than their male peers to teach at medical schools but are far less likely to be promoted to senior faculty positions, a study has found.

The study, published today in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that women who graduated from American medical schools from 1979 to 1993 were 10 percent more likely than male graduates to pursue a career in academic medicine.
But through 1997, the study said, the women were 26 percent less likely than men to be promoted to associate professor from junior faculty positions, and still fewer advanced to full professor from associate.

"Women are still confronting barriers to their success," said Dr. JoAnn Manson, a professor of endocrinology at Harvard Medical School, who was not involved in the study. Women accounted for less than one-quarter of all medical school graduates in 1979. That figure rose to 38 percent in 1993 and continues to rise.

About 11 percent of female medical graduates entered academia from the 15 graduating classes studied. Lynn Nonnemaker, a sociologist with the Association of American Medical Colleges and the study's author, said there were encouraging signs that women who graduated in the 1990's might be closer to achieving parity than those who graduated in the 1980's. But it could take a long time, Ms. Nonnemaker said. Women still represent only about 10 percent of medical school faculty members.

One of the most significant barriers to academic advancement is the conflict between work and family demands, Dr. Catherine De Angelis, editor of The Journal of the American Medical Association, wrote in an accompanying editorial.
"Equal opportunity is not possible for women in academia because only women can bear children and because women have the primary (and often nearly total) responsibility for the care of children," Dr. De Angelis wrote. "I would settle for equity -- that is, freedom from bias or favoritism."

Typically, Dr. Manson said, the time when female doctors have children is the time when they must go after grants aggressively and complete significant research to advance their academic careers.

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KAPPIE SPENCER of Des Moines thinks they do. For over 30 years she has been on a crusade to break trusts.

Wills and trusts were set up in the a dark ages to protect children, incapacitated people and women, all considered incapable of handling money. Obviously children and some incapcitated people needed protection. But adult females, even those kept ignorant of financial matters, should they be treated like children?

This practice continued, even after the first feminist revolution. A spouse who doubted his wife had the brains to handle her own money, and was worried that she might spend his "hard-earned" money on another man, left his money to be managed by well-paid trustees. A trust gave a monthly income. Anything extra you might need -well, you had to ask the trustee (big daddy) -- who would decide whether or not you needed it.

We all know wealthy women who live on an income from a trust---So what good is their wealth? Can they help their favorite cause? No! Can they take a trip? Pay for a grandchild's college? Only if the trustee approves. And what happens to all that money after life? It continues on for the children, with the banks reaping the benefits of the capitol, and being paid for it.

Kappie got nowhere, until recently. The feminist revolution has seen more women in government, and one respondedto Kappie's plea. Louise Slaughter , Congresswoman from New York, wrote an amendment on "Fair Treatment of Women By Financial Advisors," which passed unanimously on voice vote and became part of HR -10, the Financial Services bill. That bill passed July 1st and now goes into a House/Senate Conference committee.

The amendment has to do with training materials which picture women as incompetent to handle money. Since this is a "Sense of the Congress" bill, there are no penalties and no "teeth" so it is up to us to make loud noises so that no one is left unaware of these archaic practices.

But passing it is only the first step. We must create the awareness necessary to stop the perpetuation of the problem. She'll need help. And veteran feminists who live on trusts may want to get active in this.

For Further Information E-mail Kappie:

Kappie Spencer
3735 Beneva Oaks Way
Sarasota, FL 34238
813-924-2191 or 2326.

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VFA needs everyone's help to collect bios and history of feminists in each state. We especially need help in finding the many who have disappeared into private lives. If you are a veteran feminist, or know of others who are, please get in touch with VFA.

Contact Jacqui Ceballos, VFA President via e-mail here:

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Back to VFA Special Interest Index