Posted on Blog on June 12, 2020
There were a number of significant milestones related to women's equality and representation this week including the anniversary of the day that the Equal Pay Act was signed into law in 1963 and the birthdays of many remarkable women including Kathy Spillar, the executive editor of Ms Magazine, former first ladies Martha Washington & Barbara Bush, Ms Foundation CEO Teresa Younger, Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Jeannette Rankin who was the 1st woman elected to Congress, in 1916. Like most suffragists, Rankin was a republican and was elected from a multi-seat district in Montana which was then a heavily democratic state. Alarmed by her win, the democrats switched to single winner districts (which disadvantage women candidates) during her term, making it all but impossible for her to win re-election. She did run again and served one more term in the 1940s: she was the only member of Congress to vote against entry into both World Wars. Rankin was a suffragist and an avid supporter of a national popular vote for president and preferential voting - aka Ranked Choice Voting!