Women’s Rights

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The Basics


U.S. History, Reconstruction through the present



Grades 9 through 12



Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine Standards for Social Studies:

SS. 912.A.1.2  Utilize a variety of primary and secondary sources to identify author, historical significance, audience, and authenticity to understand a historical period.

SS. 912.A.1.4  Analyze how images, symbols, objects, cartoons, graphs, charts, maps, and artwork may be used to interpret the significance of time periods and events from the past.

SS. 912.A.1.7  Describe various sociocultural aspects of American life including arts, artifacts, literature, education, and publications.

SS. 912.A.3.2  Examine the social, political, and economic causes, course, and consequences of the second Industrial Revolution that began in the late 19th century.

SS. 912.A.3.8  Examine the importance of social change and reform in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (class system, migration from farms to cities, Social Gospel movement, role of settlement houses and churches in providing services to the poor).

SS. 912.A.3.12  Compare how different nongovernmental organizations and progressives worked to shape public policy, restore economic opportunities, and correct injustices in American life.

SS. 912.A.4.9  Compare how the war impacted German Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Jewish Americans, Native Americans, women and dissenters in the United States.

SS. 912.A.5.7  Examine the freedom movements that advocated civil rights for African Americans, Latinos, Asians, and women.

SS. 912.A.5.10  Analyze support for and resistance to civil rights for women, African Americans, Native Americans, and other minorities.

SS. 912.A.6.4  Examine efforts to expand or contract rights for various populations during World War II.

SS. 912.A.7.1  Identify causes for Post-World War II prosperity and its effects on American society.

SS. 912.A.7.3  Examine the changing status of women in the United States from post-World War II to present.


Common Core College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards:


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1  Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2  Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6  Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7  Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8  Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9  Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1  Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2  Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.5  Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

Common Core Standards for English/Language Arts – History/Social Studies:


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.1  Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.2  Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.3  Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.6  Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.7  Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.8  Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.9  Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.

Author: Dianne Sellner (2013)


The Lesson


This unit is thematic in nature and will cover the efforts made within the United States to empower women from the decades immediately preceding the American Civil War through the present. As this “unit” covers over 200 years of U.S. history, it is neither a stand-alone unit nor can it be taught within a few consecutive weeks.  Instead it will entail individual activities to be used throughout the high school level U.S. History course.  As this survey course typically begins with the Reconstruction era (1865 - 1877), this themed unit will back up slightly to include some pre-American Civil War era sources as well.  In most history courses only intermittent attention is given to the roles that women play.  I feel that by including activities throughout the year, students would better understand that the struggles women were trying to overcome and the opposition that they face(d) continued across time as well as today.



The unit is divided into four different activities that coincide with specific time periods during the United States’ history.  There will be approximately one activity for each grading period (quarter).  For example, activity 1 will take place during the unit covering the urbanization and immigration, essentially the Progressive era/Guilded Age.  We will have already been studying the problems faced by the population explosion in U.S. cities.  Students will already have seen changes being implemented by women in the form of settlement houses.  Though the document used for this activity is pre-Civil War, the song, “When Girls Can Vote”, expresses the idea that women will help to influence legislation.  And, as we know, Prohibition (as discussed in the song) very much was affected by the actions of many women even before the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920.  Activity 2 will most likely be covered around February which is when we cover World War II.  “Rosie the Riveter” was an American icon for women during this time period so using this song just seemed natural.  Prior to completing the song activity, we will have already covered WWI and the efforts made by women on the home front.  As a result, women obtained the right to vote which leads women to work and hope for even more during World War II.

Each activity will help students to understand the efforts made by women and their supporters in their journey to gain rights and independence.  Each activity will include a song from the era and a visual document (i.e. photograph, drawing, cartoon) or text document (i.e. law, case study, testimonial).  Each document, whether aural or visual, is indicative of both the time period and theme and necessary for students to accurately complete the activity.  Students will be required to complete activities that allow for the practice of summarization, analysis, evaluation, synthesis and presentation skills.  Activities 1, 2 and 3 will take anywhere between one and two 90-minute block classes to complete.  Due to student research, presentation creation and presentation to the class, activity 4 could take up to one and a half weeks of classes (approximately 270 minutes) to complete.


OBJECTIVE(S)/Essential Questions

  • How did the Progressive movement and non-governmental organizations bring about change?
  • How did activism influence government policy?
  • How did America mobilizing for the war impact American citizens?
  • How did Americans on the home front support or oppose World War I?
  • How did social trends and innovations shape popular culture during the 1920s?
  • How did the American people cope with its post-war social and economic struggles?
  • How did the United States respond to the post-war changes?
  • What was the impact of the counter culture on American society?
  • How did the civil rights movement expand to other groups?



Activity 1 (1840s – 1920)

  • “When Girls Can Vote” (1890) - written by M.H. Evans and Emma Pow Smith
  • Song Lyrics, Sound Recording & Liner Notes – (1997) Cincinnati’s University Singers; Director – Earl Rivers; New World records, Recorded Anthology of American Music, Inc.; New York, New York.
  • Background - The Temperance Army was a reform movement that often rallied, marched, and sang.  Many songs became popular about the abuses of the use of alcohol.  “When the Girls Can Vote” was written by M.H. Evans and Emma Pow Smith wrote this song linking the causes of women’s suffrage and temperance in 1890.  The Temperance Movement was primarily prevalent in the West.  Kansas was the first state to adopt a constitutional amendment involving the use of alcohol in 1868.  Many suffragettes took up the cause of temperance early on.  One reform organization was the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) which was founded in 1874.  At this point the temperance movement splintered, and those who fought in favor of liquor were able to defeat any attempts at prohibition.
  • Document – The Declaration of Sentiments – (http://www.womensrightsfriends.org/1848.php)
  • Document – 19th Amendment - (http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=63&page=transcript)
  • Internet – for student research.
  • The Americans textbook – for student research.


Activity 2 (1920 – 1945)

  • 2007 recording by Suzy Bogguss- sound recording only, not video footage starting at the 2:15 minute mark of the video.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDbQX5htMrU)
  • Background – Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb wrote “Rosie the Riveter” in 1942.  It was recorded by the Four Vagabonds in either 1942 0r 1943 (conflicting sources).  The song has been rerecorded several times.  The Suzzy Boggus version (2007) has also been chosen to show how the intent and tone of the song can seem different based on the style and gender of the performer.  This song is interesting in that it uses voices to imitate instruments.  It is a great song to present to students when teaching the changes in employment available to women during the time period.


Activity 3 (1945 – 2000)

  • “Respect” (1965) – written by Otis Redding
  • Song Lyrics – (http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/arethafranklin/respect.html)
  • Sound Recording – (1967) Aretha Franklin – (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FOUqQt3Kg0)
  • Background – After World War II, the United States strives to create a return to “normalcy”. Unfortunately for women this means huge steps backwards in regards to what is expected of them as wives, mothers, sisters and citizens.  American women of the 1950s are encouraged to remain at home and raise their children.  The 1960s sees women once again stepping forward to express their dissatisfaction with being kept in the background.  Thanks to Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl and Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique, feminist activism charges forward.  The National Organization for Women politicizes women’s issues and helps to push forward the Equal Rights Amendment.  While not all of these efforts were successful, American women realize that they must stand together to achieve change. (Finley & Stringer).  Otis Redding’s “Respect”, written in 1965, took on new meaning when recorded by R&B artist, Aretha Franklin, in 1967.  This song became the anthem on strong, independent women across America.
  • Image – (http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/12/21/the-long-shadow-of-1950s-gender-politics/)
  • Document – The Declaration of Sentiments – (http://www.womensrightsfriends.org/1848.php) – from Activity 1.
  • Document – Declaration of Sentiments (1998) – (http://www.womensrightsfriends.org/1998.php)

Activity 4 (2000 – present)

  • Background: Women continue the fight towards total equality for all people.  While they hold prominent positions in politics and the board room, the struggle continues.  The stage is global rather than national.  American women advocate for the welfare of children overseas as well as their own.  Environmental protection and the rights of disenfranchised women around the globe also gain prominence in the women’s movement. (Skinner)
  • Miscellaneous resources – collaboratively found/created by student presentation groups.



Activity 1 (1840s – 1920)

  • What efforts were made by women and their supporters to fight for their own civil rights?
  • What other issues did women organize to fight in favor of?
  • What obstacles did women face in their struggle to gain the vote?
  • Vocabulary: temperance, suffragist/suffragette, amendment, citizen


Activity 2 (1920 – 1945)

  • How did the roles of women change at the turn of the 20th century?
  • Other than the images portrayed in the video accompanying the song, in what other ways did women support U.S. efforts both home and abroad during World War II?
  • What images come to mind as you listen to the song?
  • How might the government and/or media have used this song as an “advertisement” during World War II?
  • Vocabulary: riveter, fuselage, production “E”, lend-lease, war bonds

Activity 3 (1945 – 2000)

  • How might the social and gender structure of the United States during the 1950s have been seen as a step backwards in the fight for women’s equality?
  • Evaluate the steps taken by such groups as the National Organization for Women as well as their successes.
  • Vocabulary: conformity, gender bias, disenfranchisement, Equal Rights Amendment


Activity 4 (2000 – present)

  • How have women continued to struggle for equality in the last 20 years?
  • What obstacles have women faced in their attempt to achieve equality



Activity 1 (1840s – 1920)

  • As students enter the room, they will hear the 1997 Cincinnati University Singers’ recording of “When Girls Can Vote”.
  • Student will sit in pre-arranged pairs to work with designated partners.
  • At the very beginning of class, students will individually create a “brainstormed” list of characteristics that may make women different from men.  They will share these with their partners and partners, compiling one list.
  • As a whole class, we will discuss the struggles that women faced in the last half of the 19th century.  Focus on the following questions: What efforts were made by women and their supporters to fight for their own civil rights?  What other issues did women organize to fight in favor of?  What obstacles did women face in their struggle to gain the vote?
  • Introduce vocabulary: temperance, suffragist/suffragette, amendment, citizen
  • Present students with a copy of the Declaration of Sentiments (1848) (http://www.womensrightsfriends.org/1848.php).
  • Review the document as a class, outlining the complaints that women had and the changes they wanted.
  • Students will listen silently to the sound recording for a second time.  They will then receive a copy of the lyrics to the song (found in the liner notes of the CD).  Discuss how the meaning of the song may have been different had it been written by a man.


“When the Girls Can Vote” (1890) – Lyrics by Emma Pow Smith; music by M.H. Evans

  • As a whole class, discuss what changes women thought they could make once they were seen as equal citizens.
  • In designated pairs, students will compile a list of other issues for which women advocated change (education, end of child labor, employment regulations, safe food and drugs, settlement houses, etc).  They can use their textbooks (The Americans) and/or the Internet.
  • Present students with a copy of the Nineteenth Amendment (1920) (http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=63&page=transcript). Have students analyze the amendment with their designated partner.


Transcript of 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women's Right to Vote (1920)

Sixty-sixth Congress of the United States of America; At the First Session,

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday, the nineteenth day of May, one thousand nine hundred and nineteen.


Proposing an amendment to the Constitution extending the right of suffrage to women.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislature of three-fourths of the several States.

"ARTICLE ————.

"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.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."


  • Closure/Evaluation: Individually, students will write a minimum of two paragraphs describing how it must have felt to be a suffragist/suffragette in the late 19th  & early 20th centuries as well as how these women and their supporters set the stage for women to become recognized active citizens of the United States.


Activity 2 (1920 – 1945)

  • Vocabulary introduction: riveter, fuselage, production ‘E”, P-19
  • Vocabulary review: lend-lease, war bonds
  • Active listening – 1942 recording of the Four Vagabonds – only listen to this version, do not watch the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CQ0M0wx00s)
  • Active Listening – 2007 recording by Suzy Bogguss- only listen, do not watch the video starting at the 2:15 minute mark of the video.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDbQX5htMrU)
  • Discuss how the intent/feel of the song changes when sung by a man vs. a woman.
  • Whole class discussion brainstorm of how women’s roles in society were changing from 1900 – 1945.
  • Pair-share: with a partner and using the text of the song, complete the “Plotting the Story” graphic organizer. (http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/r/rosietheriveter.shtml)
  • Pair-share: conduct an Internet search for at least one image that supports each verse of the song. 
  • Quad-share: two pairs of students will get together and share the images that they chose, discussing why these images support the song.
  • Closure/Evaluation: As an extension of the Quad-share, choose the best images from the two separate pairs to create one visual and auditory presentation.  Be prepared to share with the class.


Activity 3 (1945 – 2000)

  • Project the 1950s image of a woman, dressed beautifully with pearls and apron in a 1950s kitchen.  Ask students to individually write a few sentences on why they think the artist might have drawn this picture.  Where might it be found (media)? For what audience was the image created? Ask them to think beyond the picture. What other images might be found directly outside of the one seen? (http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/12/21/the-long-shadow-of-1950s-gender-politics/
  • Introduce vocabulary: conformity, gender bias, disenfranchisement, Equal Rights Amendment
  • Throughout the lesson, at the appropriate times, as a whole class, focus on the following questions/topics: How might the social and gender structure of the United States during the 1950s have been seen as a step backwards in the fight for women’s equality?  Evaluate the steps taken by such groups as the National Organization for Women as well as their successes.
  • Have students listen to the 1967 recording of the song “Respect” by Aretha Franklin.   (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FOUqQt3Kg0)
  • In small groups they will discuss how the lyrics epitomize women finally taking control of the their expectations of themselves as well as the perception of the society in general. (http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/arethafranklin/respect.html)
  • Ask students how the meaning of the song may have been different when sung by a man (Otis Redding) rather than a woman.  How does the song take on even more meaning when sung by Aretha Franklin, a black woman, during the Civil Rights Movement?
  • Present students with a copy of the 1998 version of the Declaration of Sentiments – (http://www.womensrightsfriends.org/1998.php)
  • Have students pull out their copies of the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments.
  • In groups of four on chart paper, students will create a compare and contrast chart of the 1848 and 1998 versions of the Declaration of Sentiments.
  • Gallery walk where each group discusses the similarities and differences of the two documents.
  • Closure/Evaluation:  Using notes taken during the gallery walk, as a whole class creation of a finalized Venn diagram of the two documents.



1998 Declaration of Sentiments




We gather on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Sentiments issued by the first U.S. women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls to reaffirm and advance its basic human rights principles. The Declaration, patterned after the Declaration of Independence, described the legal, social, and economic liabilities under which women lived in the United States in the 19th Century asserting, “A history of repeated injuries and usurpation on the part of man toward woman.”

While women have made many advances over the past one and one half centuries, equality has not yet been achieved. For example, the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution first proposed 75 years ago has not yet been ratified. The persistence of entrenched patterns of sex discrimination, poverty, political exclusion, and violence against women in many forms in the United States and around the world should outrage women and men alike on the eve of the new millennium.

The year 1998 is also the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a United Nations document setting forth fundamental human rights for all, signed by the United States and all member states in 1948. The document affirms everyone’s entitlement to civil, economic, political and social rights, “without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

Today women around the world are demanding that women’s rights be defended as human rights and that governments, private institutions, and communities be held accountable for promoting and upholding the human rights of all. We pledge to work to achieve worldwide realization of equal human rights for women, men and children of all races and nations.

In linking these two important anniversaries, we add our voices as U.S. women to those of other women in this country and around the world who are seeking to realize equality and human rights or all. Further, we affirm previous programs of action for women’s rights, noting in particular the National Plan of Action from the National Women’s Conference held in Houston, Texas, in 1977 and the International Platform for Action from the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995. It is essential that our government work vigorously to implement these platforms and that the United States Senate ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

We note with alarm trends at the end of this century that tend to undermine the human rights of women and men. Without sufficient enforcement of human rights standards, the globalization of the economy has worsened the marginal existence of hundreds of millions of women. The growing economic inequality within and between countries threatens our peaceful co-existence. The continuing escalation of war and civil strife and the violence practiced against women destroy lives and turn large numbers of women and children into refugees. The neglect and pillage of the environment and disregard for the resources necessary for sustainable development diminish lives today and for future generations. The growing global market trafficking in women and children for sexual and economic exploitation demeans and destroys countless lives.

Further, women throughout the world face growing backlash and fundamentalist forces determined to deny our claims to the human rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Women everywhere are seeking to counter these trends and to create societies with justice and equality for all. Nevertheless, we are often separated from one another by the persistence of racism, homophobia, ethnic, class and other divisions in the world which produce inequality among women. We will not trade off the rights of one woman for the advancement of another. We commit ourselves to respecting women’s diversity and finding common ground by working to end all forms of discrimination women face based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, culture, age, sexual orientation, disability, class, childbearing choices or marital status.

We also celebrate the contributions of women to political and civic life, our economy and our communities. The values and leadership of women are changing businesses and governmental policy as well as daily life. Democracy thrives when women have full and equal representation in all decision-making. Families thrive when women and men share the responsibilities and joys of family life. Times have changed. Women in the United States are now the majority of voters, almost half the workforce and the driving force behind the growth of small business. Policies and institutions have not kept pace.

We see it as the responsibility of women and men to create the changes necessary to advance the human rights of all. As U.S. women, we acknowledge our challenge and obligation to work against injustice and for human rights at home and wherever U.S. policy and institutions impinge on the lives of others around the world.

We pledge to uphold the principles of the Seneca Fall Declaration of Sentiments and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to seek policies that embody these principles. We build upon a global women’s movement which has reached into every corner of our country and consciousness and which gains strength from women’s diversity. Further, we commit ourselves to extending the promise of this movement to new generations.

Just as women’s lives and roles are seamless, so the following areas of concern are interrelated and the actions proposed are only some of those needed to move this agenda forward. Bearing these principles in mind, we call for bold actions and legislation at all levels to transform our society to assure equality and human rights for the girls and women of the next millennium. As for foremothers and forefathers in Seneca Falls pledged to achieve equality, so we the women of Forum 98, pledge our individual and collective efforts to the achievement of these goals.

Women Take Leadership


On the threshold of the 21st century, we envision a world with new leadership reflecting the rich variety and diversity of people in our communities, our country and around the globe - a world in which compassion and caring, human rights, social justice, and economic equity are central values.

We affirm that women have a fundamental human right and responsibility to full political participation and leadership to create an inclusive, humane, and just society. Decision-makers must be representative of the gender and racial composition of the population.

Shaping a better world in the 21st century includes:


• Teaching respect for human diversity, in all its forms;

• Building a viable and just economy based on environmentally sensitive

and sustainable development;

• Ending poverty and eliminating economic disparities and inequitable

access to resources;

• Creating a culture of peace and rejecting the glorification of war and


• Eliminating violence against women and children;

• Ending the use of religion to subjugate and control women;

• Providing quality health care and educational opportunity for all;

• Ensuring that technology serves and does not dehumanize women.

The grand dream of democracy can be realized only when women and men share leadership in all the institutions of our society. To this end, we call for:

• Equal representation of women in public office;

• Institutional and structural changes to remove the barriers to equal


• Support for statutory and constitutional equality for women;

• Dramatically curtailing the power of money in electoral politics;

• Open and accountable decision making in all public forums;

• Education of girls and young women to gain leadership and power;

• Concerted public education to stimulate citizen participation in politics;

• Public laws and budgets constructed and evaluated in terms of gender


• Increased competition and decentralization of ownership and power

over all communication systems accompanied by increased access for

women and other under-represented groups;

• Empowerment of women and girls to design and master new and

emerging technologies.

Women in an Equitable and Productive Economy


In recognition of economic rights as human rights, we call for the creation of an economically just society that embraces the full participation of women in every aspect of economic life and requires that all employers provide living wages, decent and equitable working conditions, and equal respect for women and men.

In addition to their jobs, all workers also have responsibility to care for others. Employers, government and society at large must recognize this reality. Policies and work places must be transformed to allow workers to meet these caretaking responsibilities. Job-protected family leaves must be expanded and paid; the United States is virtually alone among the industrialized nations in not providing paid leave for family care. Expanded or alternate work options must be available without penalty in pay, benefits, and advancement.

All people are entitled to a quality public education, from early childhood through higher education. Public education is the foundation of a democratic society and the key to a productive economy. Women and girls have the right to a discrimination-free educational environment, training that maximizes their ability to contribute to the economy and society, and equal access to scientific and technical knowledge which will prepare them for the occupations of the future.

We deplore the growing disparity between the rich and the poor and between the exorbitant pay of CEO’s and the low value of the minimum wage in the United States. We affirm our connection to women as workers around the globe and our responsibility to eliminate exploitative practices that arise from the U.S. consumer economy and the excessive profits generated by U.S.-based multi-national corporations. We affirm women’s initiatives in creating alternative economic systems and structures.

Both the workforce and the economy are changing as new technologies emerge. We call for these opportunities to be used to maximize women’s potential rather than marginalize women as contingent workers with little security, low pay and minimal benefits. Women must be equal participants in economic decision making at all levels, from local community development organizations to global institutions.


We seek to transform the economy and workplaces so that women’s basic rights are affirmed including the following:


• Freedom from discrimination in hiring, pay, benefits and advancement;

• Equal pay for work of equal value;

• Work and educational environments free of violence and sexual

harassment, and sex stereotyping that narrows women’s choices to a

limited range of lower paid occupations;

• Access to public information bout the employment practices of all

employers, such as statistics on wages, hours, and representation of

women in job categories both in relation to men and disaggregated by

race and ethnicity;

• The right to organize collectively and be proportionately represented in

the leadership of labor unions;

• Equal representation in senior management and on the Boards of

Directors of corporations and businesses;

• The opportunity to own and develop their own businesses and to have

equal access to capital, credit, government contracts and business

assistance programs;

• A secure, adequate and equitable retirement income;

• An adequate safety net for those unable to work; and

• Taxation that is fair to women.

Women in a Just and Caring Society


We affirm women’s and girls’ fundamental human right to full recognition of and respect for bodily integrity and reproductive self-determination. This includes:

• Freedom from violence, sexual abuse, and rape;

• Freedom from coerced pregnancy, with protection for the right to safe

abortion and safe birth control;

• Freedom from forced sterilization and genital and other forms of bodily


• Freedom from harassment based on gender or sexuality at all ages;

• Right to health education and quality and affordable health care,

including preventive, reproductive, prenatal, well-baby, and elder care;

• Right to determine one’s own medical treatment;

• Right to physical development and full participation in athletics;

• Right to develop a healthy bodily self-image;

• Right to sexual self-determination.

We affirm women’s fundamental human right to form families and mutual consentual adult intimate relationships. Women also have the right not to enter into relationships and not be penalized or disadvantaged because of this choice. Public policy as well as religious and societal institutions should respect and support women’s diverse personal relationships, including their right to dissolve such partnerships equitably and with the protection of children’s security.

People have the basic human right to receive care throughout their life course to ensure that fundamental needs are met. We affirm that participating in nurturing and caring – as parents, adult children, partners and others – is an integral and joyful part of what makes us human. We also affirm that providing care is the most valuable and important societal work, is indispensable and central in a compassionate society, and is one which men and women should share fully.

The above principles demand new policies. Governments, private institutions, and the community at large have the responsibility to provide affordable, quality child and elder care, and early childhood education; to ensure that all who need it receive appropriate care; and to assure the safety and well-being of those requiring care. Moreover, all providers, including parents and other family members who choose to provide care for children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities or long-term illnesses, should be economically supported or fairly compensated and not be discriminated against in social security, pensions, health care benefits, employment, and tax policy. Income level should, therefore, not be an impediment to anyone’s choice to provide care.

As concerned women, we commit ourselves to stand together on these issues. We recognize and respect the diverse choices and circumstances women face throughout their lives. Therefore, we will not be divided nor exploit each other in our intimate, relational, and caring lives.



  • Individually, students will write at least two well-constructed paragraphs analyzing the causes of the vast differences between the perception of women’s role in society between the years 1945 and 2000.


Activity 4 (2000 – present)

  • Students will work in groups of four or five to find a more contemporary song (2000 – present) that signifies the struggles that women continue to face on their journey to complete equality in America.
  • The groups will conduct Internet and other types of research for a sound recording, song lyrics and background information to teach the context of the song. 
  • Each group will also have to create an activity that the audience (remainder of the class and teacher) will need to complete as the presentation is given.  This can take the form of scaffolded-notes, a graphic organizer or any other pre-approved activity.
  • Closure/Evaluation:  This culminating activity will assess the students’ understanding of the continuing obstacles that women (and by extension, other minorities face in the quest for total equality).




Closure activities take place at the end of each song activity with the final culminating project occurring during activity 4 when students (groups of 4 or 5) will research and present their current/contemporary song to the class.  Presenting groups will also be responsible for creating an activity for the class to complete as the song is being presented.


Either a formal or informal assessment is used on each activity day, with the culminating activity being presented by students on the 6th activity day.  Each assessment takes the form of a quick write, graphic organizer or class discussion.


I believe that we all learn differently and that it is important that, as teachers, we present information in multiple formats to ensure not only the engagement of students but also that they are able to make the learning their own.  I have enjoyed this project.  It forced me to stop and think about specific eras and how primary source documents can be used to help students truly learn the principles and concepts encompassed in that time period.  I tried to focus on broad time periods that covered the entire course that I teach.  This was difficult at times because while I like music, I don’t know a great deal about it.  I tried to focus on songs and other documents that I thought would enhance the experiences of my students.


"Declaration of Sentiments."  Friends of the Women´s Rights National Park. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 July 2013. <http://www.womensrightsfriends.org/1848.php

“When Girls Can Vote.” The Hand That Holds the Bread: Songs of Progress and Protest in the Gilded Age 1865-1893. Dir. Earl Rivers. Perf. Cincinnati’s University Singers. New World Records, 1997. CD.

"Nineteenth Amendment." Welcome to OurDocuments.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 July 2013. <http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=63&page=transcript)>.

Danzer, Gerald A.. The Americans. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell/Houghton Mifflin, 2012. Print.

Skinner, Ellen. Women and the National Experience: Primary Sources in American History. Boston Mass. [u.a.: Prentice Hall, 2011. Print.


Finley, Laura L, and Emily R. Stringer. Beyond Burning Bras: Feminist Activism for Everyone. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger, 2010. Print.


"The long shadow of 1950s gender politics | iPolitics." iPolitics | Canadian Political News & Commentary. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 July 2013. <http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/12/21/the-long-shadow-of-1950s-gender-politics/>.




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