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W men’s Revo ution

1800s ‘26: NY & MA: high

schools for girls open

Women’s Rights progress spans the globe and redefines gender equity

‘33: First co-ed college in America

CONGRESS As of January 2013, there are 98 female members of Congress, out of a total of 535 members (18.3%).

‘48: Seneca

Falls Women’s Right Convention


Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first female doctor

Over the years, gender equality has taken up new meaning. With each victory in society comes the realization of increasing opportunities for women. According to a recent census, the state of women has progressed on four fronts: politics, freedom from violence, education, and the workplace.

‘68: National

Labor Union: equal pay for men & women in same jobs

‘72: Victoria

Woodhull, from the Equal Rights Party, is the first woman to run for president

‘73: Comstock Law crim-

inalizes birth control


‘93: New

Zealand becomes the first country to give women the right to vote

GLOBAL SPOKESPERSON Sixteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai began with anonymous blog posts before advocating universal education through her documentary and through interviews and television.

Malala Yousafzai

1900s ‘17: Jeannette

Rankin becomes the first woman to serve in Congress

‘20: 19th


Amendment, allowing women to vote, is ratified Earhart first ‘32: Amelia woman to make trans-Atlantic flight

‘55: Harker




SAN JOSE VICE MAYOR The first female Southeast Asian to serve on city council in the Bay Area, Madison Nguyen overcame several obstacles to lead her community to raise voter awareness and represent the Vietnamese community in San Jose.

Madison Nguyen


Civil Rights Act outlaws major forms of discrimination against women

sindhu ravuri, vasudha rengarajan, & kacey fang

global editor, Aquila features editor, & features editor

‘66: Indira

Gandhi becomes first female prime minister of India

‘72: Title IX, stating that schools is passed

‘81: US

Senate unanimously votes in first woman Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor

‘98: Oprah

Winfrey becomes the first African American and first female to top Entertainment Weekly’s list

2000s ‘11: A

decree issued in 2011 in Saudi Arabia will allow women to vote in 2015

‘13: Military lifts ban on women in combat roles

‘13: 3

women make Forbes China’s Best CEOs list


Education Girl Rising’s schoolwide screening emphasized the impact of education on a girl’s life, especially for those in developing countries. The documentary raised a pressing question to the student body—how much can education for women be taken for granted? The answer is evident in the statistics: according to Education First, an ini-


American legislation has long provided the footing for cultural revolution. The fight for equal voting rights in America resulted in the 19th amendment, passed in 1920, with the addition of the phrase, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” The struggle to establish equal rights did not end there. Over the years, the United States has witnessed a number of firsts on the political stage.

The current Vice Mayor of San Jose, Madison Nguyen is the first Vietnamese American to serve on the city council of any large American metropolitan area. Born in Vietnam, Nguyen arrived to the United States in 1982 after her family fled Vietnam by boat. Almost all of her education depended on government grants. “The reason why I am here is [that] when I

was doing conflict resolutions in the Asian American community I realized that we didn’t really have any representation that is South East Asian,” Nguyen said. She currently serves on the Chair of the Neighborhood Services and Education Committee, the Finance and Strategic Support Committee, and Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force, in addition to other commissions.

tiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, 32 million fewer girls than boys attend primary school globally. In total, an estimated 65 million girls are out of school. Eugene Gil (11) felt that this discrepancy may be a result of society’s perception of men and women. “It feels like there are more guys as breadwinners in society,” she said. The U.S. fares better by the numbers. In 2010,

the Department of Commerce determined that 35.7 percent of women aged 25 or older had completed four or more years of college, as compared to 27.8 percent of men. Women are making strides in higher education. While through the early 1900s, women generally favored teaching and nursing, women now are spreading across other fields but are still underrepresented in math and science.

In 1997, Madeleine Albright became the first woman in America to become Secretary of State. Ten years later, Nancy Pelosi was sworn into her position as the first female Speaker of the House. On Feb. 1, Janet Yellen is scheduled to take office as the first female chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The benchmark for women in politics is hardly constant. With each new victory, short-sighted goals transform into more ambitious goals. Such is the case with Fawzia Koofi, women’s rights activist and current

member of parliament in Kabul. In her autobiography The Favored Daughter, Koofi reveals the intricacies of gender relations in Afghanistan, discussing her parents’ relationship, the numerous threats to her safety, and her high hopes for her two daughters. “I regularly tear myself away from my children to do my work, despite knowing I might well be murdered,” Koofi says in her book. “But my job is to represent the poorest people of my nation. That purpose, along with raising my two beautiful daughters, is what I live for.”

Hero, activist, inspiration. Few can claim to have achieved this kind of international renown, yet at age 16, Malala Yousafzai has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and serves as a global spokesperson for female rights and education. Malala began speaking out against the Taliban in 2009 through anonymous blog posts on the BBC Urdu website. There, she described her daily life in Swat, a district of Pakistan, where the Taliban banned girls from attending schools and destroyed local schoolhouses. “I think what she’s doing is noble and right. Everyone, no matter the race, gender, and whatnot, should always get education from as young as possible,” Gerry Zhou (12) said. “What she’s doing is setting humanity on the right track.”

Malala publicly advocates for female education in interviews and on television. When a Taliban shooter attempted to assassinate her in October 2012 while she rode in a school bus, the incident was received with international outrage. Malala survived and has been advocating for universal access to education ever since. “I am not against anyone, neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban or any other terrorist group,” Malala stated before the UN chamber and 500 other young education advocates. “I’m here to speak up for the right of education for every child. I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban and all terrorists and extremists.” Malala now lives in England with her family.

Freedom from Violence According to the National Organization for Women, 4.8 million women in the U.S. experience sexual or physical assault from a partner. India ranks last on G20’s list of best and worst countries for women, due to domestic violence and abuse. “The reality is that it’s very dangerous to be a girl in India,” said Manthra Panchapakesan (11), who used to

Workplace Workplace equality has long served as one of feminism’s primary goals. The National Woman Suffrage Association, founded in 1869 by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, included equal pay for equal work as one of their tenets. Today, women still receive only 77 cents for every dollar a man receives for the same work. An ongoing study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that at this rate, women will not achieve pay equity until almost 2056. Adrienne Shih, from Tai-

live in India. Germany, ranked second best for women, assigned jail time to 24.4% of convicted sex trafficking offenders in 2009. “This statistic is alarming in the sense that a ‘safe’ country does not try to prevent recidivism,” Rahul Jayaraman (11) said. “It shows that women’s rights in such a modernized country is in an abysmal state.”

pei American School, believes that conditions for women in the workplace are improving. “Traditional Taiwanese culture often puts women in charge of the household, but I think that this stereotype is starting to become an antiquated notion. More and more women are starting to work,” she said. “There’s a startling statistic that the birth rate in Taiwan has dropped significantly throughout the past decade simply because women are starting to work, leaving little time to start a family.” In light of Taiwan’s first female candidate running for presidency, Adrienne harbors a “positive outlook for the future.”

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