Women's History Month Event in a Box

Event-in-a-Box

My Country2

Objective: Have Women’s Caucus or other interested members facilitate a conversation comparing the history of women’s movements and the state of women’s rights in the U.S. versus the country where you live.

GWC will provide basic background information for the United States. All you need to do is some very simple google searching to find matching facts for your country.

Sample Event Announcement

Democrats Abroad Event in the Box for Women's History Month

My Country2

Join us for a special Women’s History Month Pub Quiz    

(Your country) vs. The United States: The Race for Women’s Rights

Who won what rights when and where?

We’ll have questions, you provide your best-guess answers! Discuss the ways the struggle for the rights of women vary from the U.S. to the country where you currently live.

March_______ @_________ BYOB             

Prior to Meeting Preparation:  Choose 1 - 3 moderators to do a quick search on the facts for your country to match the U.S. information provided. This information should facilitate a conversation to compare countries, and add to a broader analysis.

For example -

Question #1  Many women in the U.S. won the right to vote in 1920 (however, depending on state of residence,  many women were not permitted to vote until long after that - with the Civil Rights Act of 1965).  

When did women in Finland win the right to vote?  Answer: 1906

Possible follow-up question by moderator:

Why do you think Finland was ahead of the U.S. in giving this right to women? (Finland was, by the way, the first country to give all men and women both the right to vote and the eligibility to run for office. It was also the first country in Europe to give women the right to vote!) 

Meeting Format: meeting vs. webinar - allow for one hour but length depends upon the engagement/participation of the audience in conversation.


Meeting Agenda/Outline:

  1. Introduction
    1. Introduce moderator and additional facilitators (ideally these will be the people who did the country research)  (2 min.)
    2. Have participants introduce themselves and share a quick thought about what they see as the significance of Women’s History Month.  (5 - 10 min)
  2. Explain Format for Quiz  (2-3 min.)
    1. “We have some information on important events for women in the United States and we’re going to ask a question about (fill in your country) and a corresponding event.”  
    2. “If you know the answer, or want to guess, go ahead and enter it in the chat box. We’ll give it a minute or two and then we can confirm the answer and have a brief conversation about the occasion or the relative timing or about current issues which relate.”
    3. “Once we’ve gone through 8 questions, we can 1) identify any history stars in the group and 2) have a broader conversation about women’s history and the issues we’ve discussed.”
    4. “So, pretty simple - but, we really encourage you to guess and to share your thoughts as we go along.  We want to make this a discussion, not just a little quiz.  Also - please don’t google for the answers - not that you would, of course!”
  3. Moderators rotate, taking turns, asking questions, and reminding people to type their answers or guess.
  4. As people type responses, the moderator can read them, comment on how close the responses are, etc.
  5. If there hasn’t been a “correct” answer, the moderator should share the answer and throw out a follow-up question to the participants - (does that surprise anyone? Why do you think it took both countries so long? etc.)
  6. Once all of the questions have been asked and answered, the main moderator will open up the general conversation by asking people which information was most surprising or what other contrasts between the two countries (in terms of women’s rights) they find the most interesting - or perhaps what policies they would most like to see transferred from one country to another.

Conclusion: Thank everyone for participating, and encourage them to become members of the Women's Caucus.


Additional Questions:

Question #2 The Married Women's Property Act was enacted in New York State on April 7, 1848  It gave women the right to own property.  It took until 1900 for the rest of the country to catch up. Previously, vestiges of the English common law rules often applied and, for example, a husband controlled his wife’s property, wages, ability to sign a contract, and even custody of children was given to men.  The decisions about custody of children, specifically, began a steady shift toward mother’s after England’s Parliament, in 1873, passed the “Tender Years Doctrine”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Married_Women%27s_Property_Acts_in_the_United_States

https://www.thoughtco.com/property-rights-of-women-3529578

Question #3 As a private institution in 1831, Mississippi College became the first coeducational college in the United States to grant a degree to a woman. In December 1831 it granted degrees to two women, Alice Robinson and Catherine Hall.  It wasn’t until 1972 that Title IX was passed as part of the Educational Amendments of 1972 that the country finally prohibited sex-based discrimination in any school or other educational program that receives federal money.  While most famously known for its enormous impact on women’s sports, Title IX actually had far broader positive impact as well.

When were women in  xxxxxx protected from sex-based discrimination in education?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_education_in_the_United_States

Question #4 In the United States, women were not guaranteed the right to own a bank account (or credit card, mortgage or business loan) until Ruth Bader Ginsberg argued and won Reed V. Reed which extended the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to women.  When were these rights guaranteed in ?

https://www.theguardian.com/money/us-money-blog/2014/aug/11/women-rights-money-timeline-history#:~:text=US%2C%201839%3A%20Mississippi%20allows%20women,file%20patents%20in%20New%20York.

Question #5 In the United States, birth control was not prohibited, for the most part,until the 1873 Comstock Act. In 1965, Griswold v. Connecticut finally allowed the use of birth control by married couples. Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972_ expanded the right to  use birth control to all Americans.  When were citizens of  XXXX allowed to use birth control?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birth_control_in_the_United_States

Question #6 By 1916, the U.S. led the world in number of divorces.[11] In populous New York State, where adultery was the easiest grounds for divorce, attorneys would provide a divorce package of a prostitute and a photographer.[12] Women in many states were not allowed to obtain a divorce until in 1937, with the Matrimonial Causes Act of that year.

This act, following almost three decades of political pressure, allowed women to petition for divorce on the same terms of men for the first time. The law, however, retained the requirement for adultery, cruelty or desertion to be demonstrated. The courts also made minimal financial provision, up to around 1/3 of the assets, and this was often dependent upon who was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Indeed, in one case maintenance payments to an adulterous wife were justified only because the judge feared that in the absence of financial support she would become a prostitute.  As a side note: Attorneys and judges of that time seemed to often have prostitution on their minds.  

https://vardags.com/family-law/divorce-and-womens-rights-a-history#:~:text=This%20came%20in%201937%2C%20with,or%20desertion%20to%20be%20demonstrated.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divorce_in_the_United_States

Question #7 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 recognized every human being as equal. Title VII of this act specifically prohibits discrimination by employers based on race, color, sex, religion or national origin.This law mandates that employers cannot treat people differently based on those categories during hiring, while employed and through the exit process. With this act, women cannot legally be discriminated against simply because of their gender.  When did women in xxx gain this protection from discrimination.

https://careersidekick.com/womens-labor-laws/#:~:text=The%20well%2Dknown%20Civil%20Rights,sex%2C%20religion%20or%20national%20origin.&text=With%20this%20act%2C%20women%20cannot,simply%20because%20of%20their%20gender.

Question #8 Until passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978,  women could be fired from their jobs simply for being pregnant.   This provided many businesses with a way to avoid paying healthcare costs or dealing with the costs or effort to hire temporary replacements.  In some cases, the “concern” had simply to do with appearances.

When was this right protected for women in XXXX?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pregnancy_discrimination