Sisterhood Blog

HERvotes Launches To Preserve Women's Rights

By Nancy K. Kaufman

  • Print
  • Share Share
Suffragettes at New York State Fair in 1915

It’s ironic that in the very same period that the East Coast is experiencing a hurricane and a rare strong earthquake, we commemorate two “earth shaking” historic events. On August 18, 1920, women won a years-long fight for suffrage with ratification of the 19th Amendment; and on August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of Americans spoke out for jobs and freedom at the March on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

At both those moments, disenfranchised individuals stood up to demand that their voices be heard. 

To honor these victories for equality and justice, NCJW is proud to join several coalition partners to launch HERvotes, a voter education and mobilization effort for women and those who care about women’s Health and Economic Rights, leading up to the November 2012 elections.

The gains achieved between and beyond 1920 and 1963 paved the way for other landmark laws that have improved the health, well-being, economic security, and equality of women. Now many of these gains are at risk.

Several efforts in Congress aim to undermine crucial safety net programs – Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – with irresponsible funding cuts, which would have a disproportionate impact on women, who rely heavily on these programs. Take away Social Security, and nearly half of all elderly women – 8.5 million − would slip below the poverty line.

The safety net is a women’s economic security issue, and we must vote to protect it in 2012. 
Why do we need a safety net? Because since the recession officially ended in 2009, women have actually lost jobs.

In fact, this recession is the first since 1970 in which women have lost jobs even as men have gained them, which is a disparity yet to be explained by economists. Job creation is a women’s issue, and we must vote in 2012 to make sure that this issue is addressed.


We must also work to preserve our health care security. The Affordable Care Act, the 2010 health reform law, ushered in a new era for women: no more fighting with insurance companies which charged women more than men for the same coverage; no more worrying about being dropped from your plan if you have a pre-existing condition; and no more debating whether or not you can afford critical preventive services, like cancer screenings or contraception. Access to affordable health care is a women’s issue, and women need to vote in 2012 to preserve these historic improvements.



At the launch of HERvotes, NCJW and our partners unveiled a top 10 list of additional achievements for women now under siege. This list serves as a reminder about what is at stake in the 2012 elections and why women must turn out to vote.

As women, we fought long and hard for the right to vote, and we should never take it for granted. I would love to see the day when 100% of women in the U.S. exercise their right to vote, particularly when so much is at risk.

We at NCJW are thrilled to have marked this meaningful week by joining with powerful women in every community for HERvotes. Together − by urging women to exercise their right to vote − we can create a groundswell, a movement to elevate a women’s agenda.

Nancy K. Kaufman is the chief executive officer of the National Council for Jewish Women. This Sisterhood post was originally posted on the NCJW website, and is being cross-posted with other blogs, including those at Moms Rising, the National Women’s Law Center and Ms. Magazine.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: women, suffrage, abortion

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.