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The Campaign for Women’s Equality In The Workplace

Not that long ago, women were banned from the Harvard Law School Library

because we might distract men from their studies. We couldn’t get credit in our own

names. Employers fired us if we got pregnant, or didn’t hire us because we might con-

ceive. We were excluded from jury duty because, apparently, our opinion didn’t count.

There were male bosses who freely demanded sex from the women who worked for

them—without consequence.

It wasn’t so long ago that classified ads used to be split in half, with one set of

jobs—the good ones—for men, and the rest for women. It was legal to pay men more

because, well, just because.

Our history inspires me because our gains were the result of a brilliant, deliberate

campaign for women’s equality that began with the most crucial battle—the fight for the right

to vote. Ninety years ago, we couldn’t even vote! But our foremothers knew that, if we

could vote, we could make change. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Women’s Liberation

Movement and the National Organization for Women executed a strategy that made

discriminatory laws fall like dominoes. Reading that history is so exciting and inspiring.

The women who are now in their fifties, sixties and seventies fought those battles—for

us. We have a legacy to protect—and create.

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