Celebrate Women’s History Month by remembering the women’s movement

Statues of women’s suffrage pioneers Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Lucretia Mott in the rotunda of the United States Capitol. MICHAEL MATHES/AFP/Getty Images

The Declaration of Independence, which prompted the birth of the United States, noted that all men are created equal. But in the 241 years since, there has been a relentless struggle in the United States to achieve class, racial and gender equality. From Congress declaration in 1987, the march was dedicated to elevating women’s history and raising awareness of current women’s issues, as the struggle for women’s rights is often misunderstood and ignored.

The women’s rights movement in the United States originated at the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY, in July 1848. The advocacy efforts that led to the women’s suffrage movement through to contemporary issues of women’s equality can trace their roots to that first convention and the 19th-century reformers who organized it.

“We are assembled to protest against a form of government existing without the consent of the governed, to declare our right to be free as man is free, to be represented in the government which we are charged to support, to have laws as shameful as possible. give the man the power to chastise and imprison his wife, to take the wages she earns, the property she inherits, and, in case of separation, the children of her love; laws that make her dependent on his generosity,” said Elizabeth Cady Stanton, addressing the Seneca Falls Convention. Stanton based the convention with Lucretia Mott after they were barred from the convention hall at the 1840 World Slavery Convention in London. Both would become two of the most influential historical figures in the struggle for women’s rights. “It is in protest against laws as unjust as these that we are assembled today, and to have them, if possible, erased forever from our books of laws, considering them a disgrace and disgrace to a Christian republic in the 19th century. We came together to elevate the fallen divinity of woman to a pedestal equal to that of man,” she said. “And, strange as it may seem to many, we now demand our right to vote in accordance with the declaration of the government under which we live.”

Stanton, who became a household name at the time, and others who attended the convention dedicated their lives to fighting for women’s rights and women’s suffrage. Although they did not live long enough to see the results of their efforts, such as the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, they inspired and guided their successors in the women’s movement.

Today, Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls teaches visitors about the founders of the women’s rights movement and inspires those fighting for women’s rights today. “The site reminds us all that struggles for civil rights, human rights and equality are global struggles that continue today,” Noemi Ghazala, superintendent of the Women’s Rights National Historic Park, told Observe him in an interview. Ghazala, who was born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York, was inspired to become a National Park Ranger after visiting Ellis Island in New York. “My parents were “citizen-migrants”. Although they did not enter the United States through Ellis Island, I felt their story on the “Island of Tears” while listening to the Rangers program. As Puerto Rican and American citizens, my parents’ journey to the continental United States was marked by personal courage, determination, and tenacity of character, as those who entered the country before them also demonstrated. The protection by the National Park Service of a site that told the history of the “settlement” of the United States marked me. Ghazala first visited Women’s Rights National Historic Park during Convention Days, the park’s annual celebration commemorating the July 1848 convention, and was appointed park superintendent in 2013. Today, she chairs the park’s efforts to highlight relevant national and global issues. She added: “President Obama reaffirmed this fact in his 2013 inaugural address: ‘We the people declare today that the most self-evident of truths – that we are all created equal – is the star that guides us. always ; just as he guided our ancestors through Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall. ”