Naomi Cramer attended at a Women's Equality Day event and wrote about her thoughts on Bella Abzug, the framer of the Women's Equality Day Bill. Naomi passed away on August 19, 2017 and has been sorely missed by her League colleagues.(from League Lines, August 2014)
Did you know there was a Women's Equality Day?
But then I got an invitation to an event sponsored by the Northern Valley League commemorating that day. The event was also to commemorate Bella Abzug, who, as a pioneering Congresswoman (1971-1977) had Aug 26 designated Women's Equality Day by the U.S. Congress.
I contacted my Women Strike for Peace "sisters" and 4 of us went to the event. August 26 was the day that the 19th amendment was passed in 1920 giving women the right to vote. Bella Abzug was a leader and founder of Women Strike for Peace (1961) -- an organization in the 60's - 70's that educated about and protested against the Vietnam War.
Many women's organizations had representatives at the event giving out literature.
The program included women who had important elected positions in Bergen County, including Kathy Donovan and Joan Voss, and our own Mayor Lizette Parker.
It was too bad that most of the people there were only the representatives from the organizations giving out literature. A local girl scout troop was there to meet with the women in government and to learn about the issues surrounding the day.
The highlight of the event was a talk by Liz Abzug, Bella Abzug's daughter, who said that the best way for women's equality to have meaning is if we elect more women to positions of power in government. Ms. Abzug has for years been the director of Bella Abzug Leadership Institute at Hunter College, mentoring and training Hunter HS and College women to become future leaders in their community.
I questioned Liz about Bella's run for Senate in 1976, since I thought she should have stayed in the House (forever) - especially since she lost the Senate election and had to give up her House seat.
Liz explained that Bella only lost by 1% of the vote and should have had the Times endorsement. At the NY Times the entire editorial board voted to give Bella the endorsement but the then-owner, Sulzberger, refused to allow it, so they endorsed Daniel Moynahan instead.