From Polar Winds to Tropical Breezes
Chapter 8: Successful Women of the United States of America
Jo Ann Duﬀy, Suzy Fox and John Miller Many people view the USA as the birthplace of modern feminism. The ﬁrst women’s rights convention, held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, set the agenda for the struggle for domestic, political and economic equality for women. The history of the USA is peppered with the stories of strong, outspoken courageous women – women who were very much the exceptions for their cultures and their times. From Abigail Adams (ﬁrst lady of one president and mother of another, who spoke out for the rights of women in early revolutionary America) to Eleanor Roosevelt and Hilary Clinton, women have gone beyond their expected roles to speak out for participation and progress. From the great Abolitionists Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Rosa Parks, symbol of the modern civil rights movement, women have emerged as leaders of the struggle for equal opportunity for all. Paradoxically, women in the USA lag behind much of the rest of the world in their participation in leadership at the upper echelons of politics and industry. Countries as disparate as the UK, Pakistan, Israel, Sri Lanka, India, Portugal, Norway, Finland, Lithuania, Bangladesh, France, Poland, Turkey, Rwanda, New Zealand, Mozambique, Mongolia, Iceland, San Marino, the Philippines, Ireland, Yugoslavia and the Ukraine across the great oceans, and Canada, Haiti, Guyana, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Panama in the Americas, have had women heads of state over the past 50 years (Women World Leaders, 2005) – but never the USA. In...
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