By Dianne Post
Recently, several glass ceilings have been broken and others wacked hard. Internationally, women are 29% of the UN peacekeepers. Five women lead peacekeeping operations. Three completely female units are in Haiti, Liberia and DR Congo. The UN has found that the presence of women helps reduce conflict and confrontation, protects local women and helps lift their status, and makes the peacekeepers more approachable.
On the political side, Theresa Mary May just became the second woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party. Margaret Thatcher was the first woman Prime Minster from 1979 to 1990 and leader of the Conservative Party. Angela Dorothea Merkel, a former research scientist, is the longest serving woman leader. She has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005 and the leader of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000. When Hillary Clinton is elected, three of the top four most powerful countries in the world will have women leaders. China will be the outlier.
In 2014, twenty-two women world leaders represented a new high. The longest serving is Merkel in Germany with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, president of Liberia, close behind since 2006 and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina since 2007. The newest were the appointed president Simonetta Somaruga in Switzerland and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic elected in Croatia in 2015. The countries where women rule range from European (6) and Eastern European countries (5) to Central and South American (5) to Africa (3), Asia (2) and the Mid-East (1). North America is conspicuously missing.
In Congress on July 13, 2016, the Senate confirmed the first Black and the first woman, Carla Hayden, as the 14th Librarian of Congress.
Closer to home, on July 2016, Phoenix named Jeri Williams its new police chief. A former assistant police chief in Phoenix, with 28 years of experience, she will be the first female chief in the city’s history when she takes over in October. Williams is not the first female chief to serve in the Phoenix area. Debora Black has led Glendale’s police force since mid-2013 after being named interim chief in March 2012. Black spent more than 20 years with the Phoenix Police Department before joining Glendale in 2006. In March 2016, Tempe named Sylvia Moir its chief. A California native, Moir was the Chief of the El Cerrito Police Department from 2010 until her appointment as the Police Chief in Tempe.
The valley also has a woman fire chief. A native Phoenician, Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner joined the Phoenix Fire Department in 1985 and has spent over 30 years of service there. As Fire Chief, Chief Kalkbrenner is one of only six female Fire Chiefs of large metropolitan fire departments in the country.
Over a hundred years ago, one argument against women’s right to vote was that they were just too frail and gentle to navigate in the tough world of politics. The same argument has been made over and over whenever women push forward one more step. This argument has especially been made in law enforcement, the military and as commander in chief i.e. the countries leader. However, recent research shows that women are actually better at it than men.
Katherine Spillar, the Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation and overseer of the National Center for Women and Policing wrote in the Washington Post on July 2, 2015, “In fact, over the last 40 years, studies have shown that female officers are less authoritarian in their approach to policing, less reliant on physical force and are more effective communicators. Most importantly, female officers are better at defusing potentially violent confrontations before those encounters turn deadly.”
In a 1988 article in the Journal of Police Science and Administration, researcher Joseph Balkin reviewed the U.S. and international research spanning fourteen years on the involvement of women in police work. He found uniformly that women not only perform the job of policing effectively, but are better able to defuse potentially violent situations: “Policemen see police work as involving control through authority,” he wrote, “while police women see it as a public service.”
As reported by the Christopher Commission on the LAPD in 1992 after the Rodney King beating, “Many officers, both male and female,believe female officers are less personally challenged by defiant suspects and feel less need to deal with defiance with immediate force or confrontational language.” It is obvious that one solution to the rash of violent police and confrontation with members of the minority community is to replace the male officers with women. At one recent community meeting on police abuse, an African American man said just that – if he’s stopped by a woman officer, he’s immediately relieved and not worried that she will kill him.
In December 2015, the military opened up all combat jobs to women. In an article in Mother Jones on January 11, 2016, “Soldiers Blow Up Five Myths About Women in Combat,” Samantha Michaels laid to rest the fiction that women were not tough enough. It is men’s fears, not women’s abilities, on parade. Eighty-five percent of men surveyed from US Special Operations Command said they opposed allowing women into their specialties, according to a Pentagon report. “It’s a slap in the face telling us that chicks can do our jobs,” one insecure soldier wrote. When you have the Republican presidential nominee talking about the size of his hands, you know the “size matters” meme still harmfully infects the male population.
Women and men in the military have to pass the same physical tests. Some of both don’t make it. Before the new rule, women were frequently in combat situations without the training and weaponry and handled the mental stress as did the nurses who have over many wars treated men on the battlefield. Women also can talk to other women in country, which is a very welcome added source of intelligence.
Periods and PMS no more get in the way of service than do men’s monthly cycles. Yes, they have them. Testosterone poisoning often makes men behave in unpredictable and violent ways. Reflex erection is a common problem when men are in combat and frightened. Service time lost to pregnancy is half that of time lost by males for discipline issues and addiction.
The integration of women in many militaries, including the highly regarded Israeli forces, has shown that it does not harm cohesion or morale. In other countries, notably Norway, men and women have no difficulty sharing facilities. “The idea that special-forces men can act professionally but can’t share a toilet with a woman is sort of absurd,” says McKenzie who has studied militaries across the world. The problem is the behavior of men – sexual harassment and rape – not the behavior of women.
Does it matter that more women are in positions of power and influence? Consistently, countries with low gender equality scores, low enrollment of girls in secondary schools and low reproductive health and rights scores have high physical and sexual intimate partner violence, and countries with high gender equality scores, high enrollment of girls in secondary schools and high reproductive health and rights scores have much lower physical and sexual intimate partner violence. (World Health Organization; International Violence Against Women Survey; Demographic and Health Surveys [DHS] and the World Bank Domestic Violence Dataset) When women have equal power, violence against women declines.
But just having women in politics is not the answer. Arizona has one of the highest percentages of women in the legislature in the country. In Arizona, women are 33% of our Congressional representatives; 43.3% of our state senators (the largest in the nation); 31.7% of state representatives; 35.6% of the total state legislature; and 30% of statewide executive office. Arizona is in the top third of states with women representatives but there has been no improvement since 2004.
Yet our state legislature year after year passes anti-woman bills attacking reproductive health, support for women and children, workers rights including minimum wage when the majority of minimum wage earners are women etc.. So being a woman is not enough, one has to also care about women.
The original argument against women voting, being in politics, working in public, being in law enforcement or the military has always been the old shibboleth that women are weak and need someone to protect us. But who do we need protection from? Men. Therein lies the answer. If men were not engorged with their power, if they didn’t become unhinged with rage, if they didn’t exhibit violence as their main emotion, we wouldn’t need protection from them.
James Baldwin had it right when he said, “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” Men fear that if they let their hatred of women go, they will have to deal with the pain. Most men will say they do not fear or hate women but in fact love them and want to protect them. The brother of Qandeel Baloch who murdered her in a so-called “honor killing” said just that, “…girls are born to stay home.”
Girls and women will not stay home. We will take our own place in the world as we see fit. We don’t need men’s protection; we need equality.

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Join us for this non-partisan, historic event honoring those who worked tirelessly for over 72 years to bring women the right to vote.

Friday, August 26th 5:30-7:30 PM at Central High School - 4525 N. Central Ave., Phoenix AZ 85012

Bring the whole family. Tell your daughters, sisters, friends and colleagues, and don't forget the men in your lives.

~~ Learn, laugh and be inspired! ~~

kcov1_zps8wk3scxsEmcee: Kim Covington, Former Channel 12 News Anchor
 

Spoken Word presented by: Divine Valentin

bocpics_sinemaOur Keynote Speaker for the evening will be the
Honorable Kyrsten Sinema, U.S. Congresswoman for Arizona's 9th District

Our program will also include a town hall discussion moderated by
Arizona Republic journalist, Megan Finnerty.
Participants will be:
Kate Gallego, Phoenix Vice-Mayor
Laura Pastor, Phoenix City Councilwoman

Kate Brophy McGee, AZ State Representative

Ticket Prices: $10.00 per person through Thursday, August 25th $20.00 per person the day of the event

Food and beverages are included in the ticket price. Bring your business cards for networking. This is not a fundraising event. Door prizes!

Purchase TICKET$ here

Presented by a Coalition of Arizona Groups
Guerrant Foundation, Maricopa County NAACP, AZ NOW, Karen Lillis Bravo, Hickey Family Foundation, Sisterhood Extravaganza, YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix, League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood AZ, National Association of Women MBAs, Business & Professional Women, Arizona Women's Partnership, Arizona Federation of Democratic Women, Arizona Women’s Education & Employment (AWEE), Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Social Venture Partners AZ, Conscious Connections
AZ Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Foundation for Women, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation Take The Lead, Athena Valley of the Sun, IMPACT for Enterprising Women
For further information please contact Anne Guerrant at

dianne-post-202x300Arizona NOW
PO Box 45558
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Dianne Post, Attorney
602 271 9019
postdlpost@aol.com
19 July 2016
EEOC Comments on Proposed Rule Changes: Employer Information Report (EEO-1)
Yes, the EEOC should amend its rules to include gathering summary pay data from employers, including federal contractors, with more than 100 employees.
Introduction
The gender pay gap is a problem internationally. No country has closed the gap and only 14 countries have closed more than 80% of it (Global Gender Gap 2014). Only by gathering such data and using it for analytical purposes can we hope to achieve equality.
In the U.S. in 2012, the median income for women was $15,000 and men $20,200. For full-time year-round earners, it was women $30,000 and men $33,592 (Legal Momentum).
Education seemed to increase rather than decrease the gap:
All levels:
Women $30,000       Men $33,592
Not HS Grad:
Women $17,300       Men $23,000
HS Grad, no college:
Women $23,000       Men $29,000
AA degree only:
Women $28,000       Men $35,000
BA/S degree only:
Women $42,000       Men $50,000
In 2015, men’s earnings grew at twice the rate of women’s. The median weekly earnings for full-time male workers were $889 in the third quarter. That’s a 2.2% increase from a year earlier. Full-time female workers’ earnings were $721, up 0.8% from a year earlier. The later data marked the third straight quarter that the increase in male earnings was at least double that of female workers. As a result, women who work full time earned 81.1 cents for every dollar a man earned from July through September. That’s down more than a penny from a year earlier.
1-Million-300x300Since the Great Recession, men have seen increasing pay in higher-wage, professional fields. The median weekly pay for men working full time in professional jobs – engineers, lawyers and teachers – was $1,345 in the third quarter, up 7.4% from a year earlier. Similar women earned $970 a week, a 2.2% increase from a year earlier (US Gender Pay Gap is Now Even Wider, Eric Morath, Wall Street Journal, 21 October 2015).
This is a global problem as well as a local one.
In every region in the world, women do 2.5 times as much work as men. Over all, three-fourths of men and one-half of women are in the work force. Yet, two-thirds of women in family businesses do not get paid. Women receive 24% less pay, thus cascading into lesser pensions as women age (UN Progress of World’s Women 2015-2016).
The world is both wealthier and more unequal today than at any point since World War II. The richest 1% of the world’s population now owns about 40% of the world’s assets, while the bottom half owns no more than 1%. To create equal work for women we need formal policies, paid work, and labor-saving equipment. We also need gender-responsive social policies such as pensions, health care, and money transfers along with rights-based macroeconomic policies – trade, tax policy, debt restructuring, deficit spending, and gender budgeting (UN Progress).
Cross-national comparisons repeatedly find that the U.S. has a higher relative poverty measure (RPM) than comparable countries. In the late 2000s, the U.S. had a 17.0 RPM, which was the fourth highest among the OECD’s 34 member nations, 6.0 points above the 11.0 OECD average, and exceeded only by Chile (18.0), Israel (20.0), and Mexico (21.0). (OECD October 2015).
U.S. single parents are the worst off compared to 16 high-income countries. U.S. single parents have above average employment rates, an exceptionally high share of full-time as opposed to part-time employment, and high rates of low-wage employment. The majority of minimum wage earners are women, and while working mothers earn two-thirds of household earnings, a 21% wage gap between women and men has existed for 10 years and is not closing (OECD).
Women’s low pay increases poverty.
Factors contributing to women’s lower pay include maternity, parental leave, violence/sexual harassment in the workplace, the glass ceiling, the sticky floor and lack of social protection. The U.S. is one of only two countries in the world without a mandatory paid maternity leave for all women workers.
In 1964, the Official Poverty Measure (OPM) was 19.0, the year in which President Johnson announced a war on poverty. Since then, it has dropped but is now rising again:
 
ERA NOW Round pic1969 – 12.1%
1970s – OPM averaged 11.8% in the 1970s,
1980s – 13.8%
1990s – 13.8%
2000-2009 – 12.5%.
Over the entire period 1964 through 2009, the OPM averaged 13.0%.
2010 – 15.1%
2011 – 15.0%
2012 – 15.0%
Two percent of the U.S. population is over 6 million more people in poverty.
More than one in seven women, nearly 18 million, lived in poverty in 2013. About 43 percent of these women (7.8 million) lived in extreme poverty, defined as income at or below 50 percent of the federal poverty level. More than 1 in 16 women lived in extreme poverty in 2013. This is a historically high rate according to the National Women’s Law Center.
StopRacismNOWThe poverty rate for women (14.5 percent) was 3.5 percentage points higher than it was for men (11.0 percent). The extreme poverty rate for women (6.3 percent) was 1.5 percentage points higher than it was for men (4.8 percent). Poverty rates were about one in four, among Black (25.3 percent), Hispanic (23.1 percent), and Native American (26.8 percent) women. Rates for foreign-born women (19.0 percent), White, non-Hispanic women (10.7 percent), and Asian women (11.0 percent) were also considerably higher than the rate for White, non-Hispanic men (8.0 percent) (National Women’s Law Center).
The poverty rate for female-headed families with children was 39.6 percent, compared to 19.7 percent for male-headed families with children and 7.6 percent for families with children headed by a married couple. Nearly six in ten of all poor children (58.8 percent) lived in families headed by women. Nearly 522,000 single women with children (12.0 percent) who worked full time year round in 2013 lived in poverty.
Among people 65 and older, more than twice as many women (nearly 2.9 million) as men (over 1.3 million) lived in poverty in 2013. The poverty rate for women 65 and older was 11.6 percent, 4.8 percentage points higher than the poverty rate for men 65 and older (6.8 percent). Nearly one in five (19.0 percent) women 65 and older living alone lived in poverty, compared to 11.3 percent for men 65 and older living alone.
2058-300x300When women are poor, children are poor. Nearly 14.7 million children lived in poverty in 2013, more than two out of five of whom (44.2 percent) lived in extreme poverty. One in five (19.9 percent) children were poor. The rate was one in three for Black children (38.3 percent) and Native American (34.9 percent) children and three in ten for Hispanic (30.4 percent) and foreign-born (28.4 percent) children. The poverty rate was 10.1 percent for Asian children and 10.7 percent for white, non-Hispanic children. (UNICEF, in Child Poverty, Buchheit, Alternet, April 15, 2015.)
When pay is unequal, everyone suffers, especially children. In the past six years, U.S. wealth grew 60%; during the same period, homeless children grew 60%. As UNICEF reports, "[Children's] material well-being is highest in the Netherlands and in the four Nordic countries and lowest in Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and the United States."Over half of public school students are poor enough to qualify for lunch subsidies, and almost half of black children under the age of six are living in poverty. http://stateofworkingamerica.org/fact-sheets/poverty/. Nearly half of all food stamp recipients are children, and they averaged about $5 a day for their meals before the 2014 farm bill cut $8.6 billion (over the next ten years) from the food stamp program. In 2007 about 12 of every 100 kids were on food stamps. Today it's 20 of every 100. For every two homeless children in 2006, there are now 30 on a typical frigid night in January. According to the U.S. Department of Housing, 138,000 children were without a place to call home. That's about the same number of households that have each increased their wealth by $10 million per year since the Great Recession.
Educational equity has not improved pay equity.
Women are 50.8% of the entire U.S. population. They represent:
60% of undergraduate degrees
60% of masters degrees
47% of law degrees
48% of medical degrees
44% of masters in business & management,
37% of MBAs
In the overall labor force they represent:
47% of the labor force
59% of the college-educated, entry-level workforce
They hold 52% of professional level jobs but only
15% of executive officers
8% of top earners
5% of Fortune 500 CEOs
In the financial industry, they are 54.2% of labor force, but:
12% of executive officers
18% of board directors
0% of CEOs
Germany mandates 30% women on boards; Norway mandates 40% as does Iceland.
In the health and social assistance fields, they are 78% of labor force yet:
15% of executive officers
12% of board directors
0% of CEOs
In the legal/medical/science fields, they are:
45% of associates of law firms
25% of non-equity partners
15% of equity partners
34% of all physicians & surgeons
16% of medical school deans
9% of management positions in info tech,
14% of senior positions at Silicon Valley startups
On all U.S. boards, women have been stuck at 12% for more than a decade. On Fortune 500 boards, they have been stuck at 17% for more than eight years. (Ms Magazine)
 
Women of color suffer even more.
Data-Speaks-300x300Today women earn $.77 for every dollar earned by comparable men, which is not much improvement since 1990. But the figures are even lower for women of color:
African-American $.64 (2010)
Latina $.55 (2010)
Whites $.78 (2010)
Because of these pay inequities, women lose an average of $434,000 in lifetime.
Men lost the most jobs in the Great Recession in construction and manufacturing. However, in the recovery men gained all the jobs (93,700), while women lost 102,000 jobs. The result is that women have higher unemployment rates than men:
African American women 11%, Latina 10%, White 8%, white men approximately 5%. Women of color are also over-represented in low wage sector with few benefits.
The pay gap results in a wealth gap:
Single white men have wealth of $43,800 v. single white women of $41,500
Single Black male, $7,900 v. single Black female, $100;
Married or cohabitating white households, $167,500
Married or cohabitating African American households, $31,500
Latina household, $120
African American and Latina women with children, 0
Female minimum-wage workers have doubled since 2007 and are now twice that of males. Working poor Latina and African American women are twice that of whites. Working poor rates increased since the recession and even more since the 2009 “recovery” from 5.1% to 6% to 7% in 2011. Poverty rates for women of color are twice that of white women (The State of Women of Color in the United States: Too many barriers remain for this growing and increasingly important population, Farah Ahmad and Sarah Iverson, October, 2013, Center for American Progress).
Conclusion
The U.S. has a higher degree of income inequality than almost any other developed country. Only three of 34 OECD members rank higher – Chile, Mexico and Turkey.
Americans now are less likely to move to the class above their parents than citizens of other rich countries; current generations will die sooner than their parents and have less wealth.
Graduation-300x300The Special Rapporteur visited the U.S. in 2015 and in her report said, "The United States, as economic leader of the world, lags behind in providing a safety net and a decent life for those of its women who do not have access to independent wealth, high salaries or economic support from a partner or family" (UN Working Group, Dec. 2015). A 21 percent gender wage gap is "affecting women’s income throughout their lives, increasing women’s pension poverty."
The UN Working Group also said it was "shocked" by the lack of mandatory standards for workplace accommodation for pregnant women, post-natal mothers, and persons with care responsibilities, which it noted "are required in international human rights law.” International human rights law requires the establishment of social protection floors for core economic and social needs, provision for paid maternity leave, and the taking of all appropriate measures to produce ”de facto equality between all women and men in the labor market and in women-owned businesses," the statement reads.
It is clear that the pay gap continues. Gathering data is the beginning of changing policy. We must change policy if we intend to truly bring about equality. EEOC should be leading that charge. Thank you.

Why Women Must Still Fight For Voting Rights

Statement by NOW President Terry O’Neill

06.23.2016

 
The struggle to secure voting rights and the struggle to secure the rights of women have been intertwined in U.S. history since the historic meeting at Seneca Falls in 1848 endorsed the demand for women to have the right to vote.
Today, nearly a century after women won the constitutional right to vote, and a half-century after African American women and men won access to the ballot box through the 1965 Voting Rights Act, we are facing a new onslaught of state voter suppression measures.
Aimed primarily at communities of color, immigrants, and younger voters, these laws are the shameful progeny of the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder.
The fact is, voter suppression laws disproportionately impact women. That’s why the National Organization for Women (NOW) is proud to be a member of the Voting Rights Alliance to undo the damage done by Shelby, end voter suppression laws, and pressure Congress to protect and restore the right to vote for every citizen.
NOW activists are joining members and supporters of the new Congressional Voting Rights Caucus on Capitol Hill today to protest the Shelby decision and demand immediate action by Congress to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Restrictions on early voting disproportionately block women from exercising their right to vote. Women are over-represented in the ranks of low-wage work, and many can’t take time off to go vote on Tuesday. They need flexible voting hours via early voting.
What’s more, voter ID laws have a disproportionately negative effect on women. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, one third of all women have citizenship documents that do not identically match their current names, primarily because of name changes at marriage.
Beyond discrimination at the voting booth, when women are blocked from voting, anti-woman legislators get elected, and then they enact laws that harm women — like the tsunami of anti-reproductive rights laws passed by states in the past three years — or block beneficial policies like paid leave, equal pay, or an increase in the minimum wage.
NOW is proud that for the first time in our history, a woman will be nominated to run for President on a major party ticket. That’s a tremendous step forward. But undermining voting rights for our sisters and brothers of color will set back our democracy for generations to come. Shelby must not be allowed to stand. It is time to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act without further delay.

Contact

Tamara Stein , planner@now.org , 951-547-1241
, ,

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IVoteNOW

 

Arizona Capital Times, Dianne Post and Kaitlin Ford

— Dianne Post is a Phoenix attorney and Kaitlin Ford is an intern for NOW.

By: Guest Opinion  January 21, 2016 , 5:30 pm

Most Americans have heard of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). What most Americans do not realize is that the ERA did not pass and is not a part of the U.S. Constitution. How can this be when between 91 percent to 96 percent of American adults polled believe that men and women should have equal rights, and 72 percent already think that men and women have equal rights guaranteed by the Constitution (ERA Survey)? How can this be when the U.S. imposed the ERA language on other countries in 1945 and encouraged it in its foreign assistance in all the former Soviet Union countries in the 1990s? How can this be when the Republicans were the first to endorse the ERA in the party platform in the 1940s with the Democrats shortly following suit?

kaitlin-fordKaitlin Ford

Yet it remains that America is one of few countries that does not guarantee women equal protection of rights under the Constitution. In fact, corporations received equal rights under the 14th Amendment before women did. U.S. Supreme Court justices have made it clear that the Constitution does not prohibit discrimination based on sex. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “If I could choose an amendment to add to the Constitution, it would be the Equal Rights Amendment. I think we have achieved that through legislation, but legislation can be repealed, it can be altered. So I would like my granddaughters, when they pick up the Constitution, to see that notion — that women and men are persons of equal stature — I’d like them to see that is a basic principle of our society.”

The ERA was born in 1923 after women won the right to vote. It was introduced every year in Congress until finally, in 1972, the ERA was passed by Congress and by 1984 ratified by 35 states of the 38 needed. The ERA is the only proposed amendment that had an expiration date on it – a practice many challenge. Since then, it continues to be introduced in Congress every year and a new movement has arisen to see it passed by 2020 because there still is an urgent need for the ERA in today’s society.

The ERA will help improve the lives of men and women by making equality a Constitutional principle as well as a law, as it is now in some areas. The U.S. falls behind many other countries in measures of women’s equality from the number of parliamentarians to maternal deaths to response to domestic violence. The Inter-American Commission for Human Rights found recently in the Jessica Gonzales case that the U.S. violated the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man by failing to protect victims of domestic violence.

dianne-post-202x300Dianne Post

Currently women make on average 83 cents on the dollar compared to men performing the same job. Women also are less likely to have benefits at work such as insurance and pensions. These are only a few examples of how the ERA will improve the lives of all American citizens now and in the future.

Arizona did not pass the ERA in the 1980s. In fact, the state donated $10,000 of taxpayer money to the Mountain States Defense Fund to defeat the ERA. But women in Arizona still demand equality. State Rep. Rebecca Rios will be introducing the ERA again this year. It has been introduced many past years but leadership refused to assign it to a committee, let alone have a hearing. The women of Arizona deserve better. Arizona was once a beacon for women’s rights. Women could vote in Arizona in 1912, and Rachael Berry, from Apache County, was the first woman legislator elected in Arizona in 1914 before women in the rest of the country could even vote. Isabel Greenway was Arizona’s first congresswoman and only representative from 1933-1935. Arizona holds the record for the most women governors (four, three in a row) and having women hold all state offices at the same time (1998). The first woman appointed to the Supreme Court came from here. Arizona needs to reclaim its place in the march toward equality by ratifying the ERA today and moving toward that day that all discrimination will end.

— Dianne Post is a Phoenix attorney and Kaitlin Ford is an intern for NOW.