FAQs: The ACLU Women's Rights Project and Women's History Month

Document Date: February 26, 2007

What is the ACLU Women’s Rights Project?
The ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project was founded in 1972 by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Through litigation, community outreach, advocacy and public education, WRP empowers poor women, women of color and immigrant women who have been subject to gender bias and who face pervasive barriers to equality . WRP works to ensure that women and their families can enjoy the benefits of full equality and participation in every sphere of society.

What are the Women’s Right’s Project priority areas?
The ACLU Women’s Rights Project focuses its work in four core areas of women’srights:

WRP advocates on behalf of low-wage immigrant women workers, supports women in non-traditional employment, and seeks to end workplace discrimination.

WRP is committed to advancing battered women’s civil rights, assisting women in their efforts to keep themselves and their children safe, improving police accountability and responsiveness to domestic violence, and challenging the housing and employment discrimination experienced by so many battered women, especially low-income and women of color.

WRP addresses the harms to women and girls caught up in the criminal and juvenile justice systems, including their conditions of confinement and reentry issues, and the impact of drug laws and sentencing policies on women and their children.

WRP is dedicated to ensuring that public schools do not become sex-segregated and that girls and boys receive equal educational opportunities.

What is Women’s History Month?
Women’s History Month had humble beginnings when a single week in March was recognized as “Women’s History Week” in Sonoma County, California in 1978. At the time an education task force in Sonoma recommended that in order to help school principals meet Title IX regulations they celebrate a Women’s History Week. Women’s History Week included school and community events highlighting important contributions of women. The original Women’s History Week in March was chosen in part to coincide with International Women’s Rights Day (March 8th). Women’s History Week went national in 1981 when Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, and Representative Barbara Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, presented a congressional resolution to recognize Women’s History Week across the country. In 1987, Congress agreed to extend Women’s History Week to include the entire month of March.

Why is Women’s History Month important?
Women have made many important gains in social and economic equality in the U.S.over the past century. Women’s History Month draws attention to the women who helped lead the way in fighting for those rights. Women’s History Month also helps draws attention to current struggles for women’s equality, such as ensuring economic and educational opportunities for all women, ending violence agains two men, and addressing the harms to women and girls caught up in the criminaljustice system.

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