1966 –The National Organization for Women (NOW)
is an American feminist organization founded on October 29, 1966 by 28 women who became founders at the Third National Conference of Commissions on the Status of Women in June (the successor to the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women), and another 21 women and men who became founders at the October 1966 NOW Organizing Conference, for a total of 49 founders. Both conferences were held in Washington, D.C.
Betty Friedan and Pauli Murray wrote NOW’s Statement of Purpose in 1966;
The founders were frustrated with the way in which the federal government was not enforcing the new anti-discrimination laws. Even after measures like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers were still discriminating against women in terms of hiring women and unequal pay with men. NOW’s Statement of Purpose, which was adopted at its organizing conference in Washington, D.C., on October 29, 1966, declares among other things that “the time has come to confront, with concrete action, the conditions that now prevent women from enjoying the equality of opportunity and freedom of choice which is their right, as individual Americans, and as human beings.” NOW was also one of the first women’s organizations to include the concerns of black women in their efforts.
1938 – Born on October 29, 1938, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the 24th and current President of Liberia, in office since 2006. She served as Minister of Finance under President William Tolbert from 1979 until the 1980 coup d’état, after which she left Liberia and held senior positions at various financial institutions. She won the 2005 presidential election and took office on 16 January 2006, and she was a successful candidate for re-election in 2011. Sirleaf is the first elected female head of state in Africa.
Sirleaf was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, jointly with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia. The women were recognized “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”
1912- Iranian heroine Zeinab Pasha lived during the Qajar Dynasty in the late 19th century. She was a brave, strong woman from Tabriz who actively participated in the Constitutional Movement. She formed a group of like-minded women. After the victory of the revolution and formation of the first parliament, women found out they were not given their rights, so they formed various unions and associations to gain their rights.
In the Tobacco Movement, when the striking Bazaar shop owners were pressured by government troops to open their shops, Zeinab Pasha led a large number of armed women to the Bazaar and engaged in a confrontation with the armed forces of the government and defeated them. The shop-owners thus could close their shops again and continue their strike.
Government agents tried several other times to break the Bazaar’s strike; every time however, Zeinab Pasha and her women confronted them with arms, stones and clubs and did not allow them to carry out their mission. She made passionate speeches and encouraged men to continue the struggle.
During the hoarding crisis, too, Zienab Pasha and her group attacked the storehouses of the wealthy and officials of the Qajar dynasty and confiscated wheat and other grains and divided them among the poor.
Zeinab Pasha’s courage and sacrifices made her very popular and poets wrote poems about her.
No accurate information is available on the time and conditions of Zeinab’s death but she continues to symbolize women’s bravery in Azerbaijan.
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