To be completed
A monument representing the Women’s Suffrage movement, which gave women the right to vote 92 years ago, stands in the United States Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. The artist, Adelaide Johnson, sculpted detailed portrait busts of three of the movement’s pioneers — Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Lucretia Mott — into an 8-ton block of marble in Carrarra, Italy.
The statue didn’t find a permanent home in the rotunda until May of 1997, and to this day remains unfinished. The statue is a metaphor of the continuing struggle for gender equality today.
Although the Women’s Rights movement is a national issue, reform begins at the grassroots level.
At the University of Idaho, we have access to an organization that’s unavailable on many college campuses — the UI Women’s Center, which has programs and services to educate the campus and community about gender equity and other issues.
Although UI has a thriving Women’s Center to support faculty, staff and students, some centers across the country are being forced to close because of inadequate funding.
Over the course of the next three months, the UI Women’s Center will be celebrating its 40th anniversary with a series of events, including a feminist fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today in the Idaho Commons Plaza.
FEMfest features booths from several local organizations, including the UI LGBTQA office, Moscow Women’s Giving Circle, Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and the Women’s Center.
The UI Women’s Center plays a crucial role in educating the university and community about issues associated with women’s rights. Campus events such as FEMfest are a grassroots method of learning about national issues.
Several pieces of legislation surrounding women’s rights have been, and will continue to be, debated in Congress. Such issues include abortion and reproductive rights, women’s health care, equal pay, violence against women and marriage equality.
The makeup of the 112th Congress is predominantly male. Of the 535 congressional seats, 90 are held by women — 17 in the Senate and 73 in the House of Representatives — according to the Center for American Women and Politics.
Ironically, the vast majority of America’s leaders who are supposed to make decisions in women’s best interest are men.
The women’s rights debate is not a thing of the past. As a country, we have made leaps and bounds in the last 92 years, but we still have a long way to go.