As the 150th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement approached, women began to talk about the status of women and how they might achieve their goals. They discussed the social, religious, and civil conditions of women. They convened the world’s first women’s rights convention the following day. It was held at the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls on July 19 and 20, 1848.
The women’s suffrage movement is usually told as a national story, beginning with the 1848 Seneca Falls convention, continuing with state campaigns, petitions to Congress, and marches leading to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. However, suffragists worked together across national and international boundaries, collaborating on strategies and organizing conferences and publications. Many suffragists understood the right to vote as an international goal, and global struggles often inspired their actions.
The NWP became nationally known as the “Silent Sentinels” and held vigils outside the White House for nearly three years. During this time, some supporters of the women’s suffrage movement were arrested, often in deplorable conditions. Some went on hunger strikes and endured forced feedings. Eventually, however, courts dismissed their cases, and the women were freed.
In the early part of the twentieth century, women’s suffrage advocacy gained a national focus with the National Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). It was led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who pushed for a federal constitutional amendment. However, many activists disagreed with the national approach to voting. Nonetheless, the Territory of Wyoming legislature granted adult women the right to vote in 1869. Moreover, women were often seen working side-by-side with men on farms and ranches during this period.
Women’s suffrage strategies of the new leadership of the women’s rights movement focused on mobilizing women and ensuring their equality. Some suffragists tried to embarrass Woodrow Wilson, who had opposed a federal woman suffrage amendment. However, these efforts met with violence and hostility. As a result, Alice Paul broke away from the National American Woman Suffrage Association to form the National Woman’s Party. This new leadership of the women’s rights movement adopted more aggressive tactics.
The first National Women’s Rights Convention takes place in Worcester, Mass., and attracts more than 1,000 participants. From this point on, the women’s rights movement seeks to amend the Constitution and individual state constitutions. The National Woman Suffrage Association is founded to promote women’s suffrage. During the convention, 68 women and 32 men sign the Declaration of Sentiments, which sets the agenda for the women’s rights movement. Twelve resolutions are adopted, demanding the equal treatment of men and women and the right to vote.
For right-of-center politicians, abortion rights are a wedge issue that focuses on dividing people by race and class. Traditionally, abortion restrictions have targeted poor women and militated against public health insurance expansions. They also reinforce the vulnerability of poor women to state surveillance. These strategies are especially damaging to poor women of reproductive age, who rely on public insurance for their reproductive health.
The new women’s rights movement leadership recognizes that access to abortion care is crucial to reproductive health care. Despite this, women seeking an abortion still face stigma and discrimination in the health care system. It’s, therefore, imperative that abortion providers address the ongoing harm of the cultural stigma and discrimination associated with the practice.
Removing unjustified restrictions on abortion services is a critical step toward reproductive justice and ensuring that women and their families can access a full range of reproductive health care. These restrictions disproportionately affect low-income people, BIPOC, the disabled, and live in rural areas. These barriers make abortion unaffordable for many women, particularly those who lack the means to pay for transportation, child care, and other costs.
The new leadership of the women’s rights movement has focused on ensuring that the legal right to an abortion is protected. In the past, activists have focused their energy on the legislative arena and messaging. This strategy has helped to maintain the legal right to an abortion, but it has failed to stop the ongoing attacks on the right to choose an abortion. In addition, polls show a decrease in public support for abortion rights.
Increasing the number of providers can help reduce barriers to abortion. But it must be combined with funding and training. Every member of the provider workforce needs to be culturally competent and understand the challenges women face in certain cultures and communities. This requires access to culturally appropriate health care, training providers in cultural humility, and a willingness to understand the harm caused by the health care system.
Women of color have taken up the cause of reproductive rights. Since the 1980s, they have been creating coalitions and organizing organizations. One of these was the National Black Women’s Health Project, which was the catalyst for many other organizations. These organizations articulated new definitions of reproductive rights. This included putting the right to have a child on equal footing with the right not to have a child and the right to parent existing children. They also stressed that legal rights alone were not enough.
Women are the primary consumers and decision-makers when it comes to healthcare. This means that advancement for women in healthcare is directly related to their gender. The number one referral source is word-of-mouth, and many women use social media for information and guidance. Healthcare leaders are leveraging the power of customer service, community engagement, and fundraising to drive change. The shift in the provider landscape is leading to new approaches in the provision of health care for women.
Health care is a crucial issue for women around the world. Gender-based inequities and discrimination have contributed to the high mortality rate among women. Women have also faced barriers to accessing essential healthcare services, education, and nutrition. Despite women’s challenges, women must take up the mantle of leadership for global health. This is vital to advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal three, which promotes the health of all people, and Sustainable Development Goal five, which promotes gender equality.
Women hold many line roles in healthcare organizations, ranging from entry-level positions to the C-suite. However, the percentage of women in senior positions is rapidly decreasing, with only 29 percent of women in CEO roles. Online roles, on the other hand, tend to be more consultative, supportive-function-related roles.
A key strategy in women’s health care is to provide integrated care for a woman’s life span. This approach is critical because women don’t only experience health issues in maternity care. By building service lines, healthcare organizations can provide continuity of care and personalize care for their patients, ensuring better care and reducing the burden on healthcare systems.
The United States’ primary health care system is not meeting the needs of women at every stage of life. As they enter and leave adulthood, women’s needs change dramatically. This gap must be filled, and women’s health care must adapt to meet these needs. The healthcare system must be more responsive to women’s unique needs, regardless of age, race, socioeconomic status, or geography.