Women’s Equality Day Events in Fort Wayne

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News release from

Women’s Equality Day Events in Fort Wayne

(August 8, 2011) – The League of Women Voters (LWV), YWCA of Northeast Indiana and the Women’s Bureau are joining together with other local groups to present several programs in celebration of this year’s Women’s Equality Day.

On Tuesday, August 23, Stacey Stumpf, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette Editorial Writer, will present a program on writing effective letters to the editor entitled “Finding Your Voice”. The brown bag lunch workshop takes place at the downtown branch of the Allen County Public Library from noon to 1 p.m. There is no charge to attend. The YWCA is taking reservations for the event to assure adequate seating. Call Sue Hiatt at the YWCA, 424-4908 ext 254 or email shiatt@ywcaerew.org.

Later that same day, a special performance of the play “Fighting Words” will occur on the Walb Student Union Plaza at IPFW. Admission is free. “Fighting Words” was written by IPFW librarian and Army veteran Denise Buhr and tells the story, in the words of real women, of women’s participation in combat from the Revolutionary War to the current day. The play is being produced by Military Student Services at IPFW and Ivy Tech, the Center for Women and Returning Adults, and the Women’s Studies program.

The following day, Wednesday, August 24, the YWCA Diversity Dialogue will explore the issue of human trafficking at a noon program at the organization’s headquarters at 1610 Spy Run Avenue, Fort Wayne.

All of this is to recognize the week when women celebrate Women’s Equality Day – a day that recognizes when women in the United States were given the right to vote – August 26, 1920 when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was signed. The amendment was first introduced in 1878.


On the 50th anniversary of the passage of the 19TH amendment, the National Organization for Women (NOW) called upon women to demonstrate for equal rights in a nationwide “strike for equality.” New York City saw banners hung from the Statue of Liberty and the ticker at the New York Stock Exchange was stopped to draw attention to the strike. Well over 100,000 women participated in demonstrations and rallies in more than 90 major cities and towns across the country. The strike was the largest gender-equality protest in the history of the United States.

In New York City 50,000 women marched down Fifth Avenue in support of the women’s movement and equal rights, demanding equal opportunities in both education and employment, as well as access to 24-hour child-care centers. Speeches were given by former NOW president Betty Friedan, feminist author Gloria Steinem, and U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug.

The New York Times’ coverage of the strike marked the publication’s first article about the women’s movement.

The strike did not bring about immediate change but was successful in demonstrating the breadth of support for women’s rights, and the press coverage it received drew significant attention to the feminist movement.

The strike also helped to secure passage of the Equal Rights Amendment by Congress in 1971-72 but the amendment subsequently failed to be ratified by the required three-fourths of the state legislatures. It is introduced again in Congress at almost every session.

In 1971, thanks to Abzug’s efforts, Congress officially recognized August 26 as Women’s Equality Day, which not only commemorates the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment but also highlights the continued efforts of women to achieve full equality.


Since 1894, the YWCA Northeast Indiana, which serves Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Wells and Whitley counties, has given voice to the concerns of women and provided services to meet the changing needs of women and their families. A nonprofit organization, the YWCA operates Indiana’s oldest domestic violence shelter, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary of shelter and services to women, men and children escaping domestic violence. The YWCA welcomes the interest and participation of both women and men committed to this vision. The organization receives support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and other groups, and is a United Way Partner Agency in each county in the areas they serve area.



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