Key West NOW

NOW chapters focus on six priority issues including reproductive rights, ending sex discrimination/constitutional equality, promoting diversity and ending racism, economic justice, stopping violence against women, and lesbian rights including marriage equality. Our chapter welcomes new members to help fight for women´s rights on the local and national level.

KWNOW Celebrates Anniversary of
Historic Women´s March

Members of the Key West Chapter of the National Organization for Women gathered at the Meadows home of Cynthia Edwards and Rick Boettger on March 3 to observe the One Hundredth and One Anniversary of the Great Women´s Suffrage March on Washington in 1913. Sadly, the women marchers were attacked by anti-suffrage bystanders and many of the women were jailed and mistreated by authorities.

After enjoying a social hour and refreshments in the lovely Edwards-Boettger garden, KWNOW members viewed a program of videos depicting the long history of the Women´s Suffrage Movement, beginning in the early 19th century and culminating in 1920 with passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote. The videos also described the important role of individuals such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Alice Paul and others in this fight for both racial and gender equality.

One of the videos described the work of Alice Paul in establishing the National Women´s Party in 1923 and her efforts to expand women´s equality by adding the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution. The ERA states: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

In 1972 Congress finally passed the ERA and sent it to the states for ratification. Thirty-six states have now ratified the amendment, with the votes of only three more states needed to place it in the Constitution. Because Florida is one of the remaining states that have not ratified the amendment, Florida women´s groups, including KWNOW, have worked tirelessly since 1972 to persuade our State Legislature to pass this amendment.

KWNOW wishes to thank Cynthia and Rick for graciously hosting this celebratory event.

- Betty Desbiens

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