Changes and Challenges in the 2024 Title IX Regulations

Tuesday, June 25, 2024 (12:00 noon-1:30 pm ET)

Zoom Meeting Registration Link

June is Pride Month, but the long-awaited Title IX Regulations from the US Department of Education are being attacked primarily because they have clarified anti-sex discrimination provisions relating to LBGTQI+ students, but also because they restore protections against sex-based harassment in schools and clarify accommodations that schools need to provide for students who terminate their pregnancies. As we celebrate the 52nd anniversary of Title IX, our experts will help us understand the key changes in the 2024 Title IX Regulations and make sure that they are implemented as planned despite the political and legal challenges.

Jeanette Lim Esbrook, a former Acting Assistant Secretary for the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and CWI’s Vice President for Legal Affairs, will serve as Moderator. She will give a brief history of Title IX Regulations and how they are implemented. Then she will discuss how the April 2024 Title IX Regulations or Rules, which are to be implemented Aug. 1, 2024, improve safeguards for recipients of sexual assault/harassment to correct problems in the current 2020 Trump Administration Rules.

Rebecca Amadi, Federal Policy Manager, GLSEN, which works to ensure that LBGTQI+ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment, will describe the justifications for and objections against the non-discrimination provisions relating to gender identity and sexual orientation in the 2024 Title IX Rules. She will discuss why they were included in the Rules (including the Supreme Court Bostock decision), what they cover, and why the promised Title IX Athletic Rules have not been released. Then she will describe LBGTQI+ supporters’ actions to implement the new Title IX Regulations.

Shiwali Patel, Director of Safe and Inclusive Schools & Senior Counsel, National Women’s Law Center, a lawyer who formerly worked in the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, will describe House Joint Resolution 165 and its companion in the Senate which would undo the new Title IX Rules as well as the litigation by 26 states and others against the April 2024 Title IX Regulations. She will outline likely scenarios for the timing and implementation of the Title IX Rules and suggest what supporters of these Rules should be doing.

Karen Truszkowski, representing Stop Sexual Assault in Schools (SSAIS) is an SSAIS Officer and attorney who represents K-12 and higher education Title IX plaintiffs. She will discuss how the Title IX 2020 Regulations were changed in 2024 relating to the procedures to be used in handling complaints of sexual assault and harassment and to provide more explicit protections and support to pregnant and parenting students. She will also discuss the specified roles of Title IX Coordinators and their designees such as investigators, decision makers, appeals officers and informal resolution facilitators and how they are supposed to work with all involved.

After the presentations the experts will have a chance to question and comment on their colleagues’ statements and the zoom participants will have an opportunity to ask questions.

The next CWI Zoom meeting is scheduled for September 24, 2024.

Celebrating Sex Ed for All Month:  Getting the Facts of Life

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 (noon to 1pm ET)

Zoom Meeting Registration Link

May is dedicated as Sex Ed for All Month, so we plan to focus on this important topic. This month is designated as an opportunity to voice shared commitment to a world where all young people get equitable access to the education and care they deserve. Looking at the process in terms of what should be taught, what are the challenges that arise when dealing with intimate topics and how to press on to be sure that sex education is reaching all youth who need and deserve “the facts of life”. This topic will be covered by two leading youth education organizations.

We continue to be concerned that comprehensive, fact-based sex education taught in public schools has long been opposed by certain elements – many in conservative states. Because sex education laws and policies are made by state and local leaders, sex education is frequently under attack. Politicians in many states have deployed various efforts to limit access to sex education, promote conservative agendas, and keep sex educators out of schools. Their efforts have meant that no comprehensive sex education programs are provided in those communities and instead students are exposed to non-factual, abstinence-only information. This opposition continues in many parts of the country, but notable progress is being made. See your state’s sex education Profile, State Profiles – SIECUS .

SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change (SIECUS), an organization that worked with partners to reframe May as Sex Ed for All month, monitors whether states provide comprehensive, fact-based education. The organization envisions an equitable nation where all people receive sex education, are affirmed in their identities, and have power to make decisions about their own health, pleasure, and wholeness. They work to enhance educator, advocate, parent, youth, clinician, partner, and public understanding of the current state of sexuality education in the United States and opportunities for improvement in both policy and practice. We will have the President of SIECUS, Christine Soyong Harley (she/her/hers) speak about progress and the need for further improvements in sex education across the nation.

Since 2019, Christine Soyong Harley has led SIECUS to focus on sex education as a vehicle for social change, focusing on the broad benefits of comprehensive sex education to prevent child abuse and sexual violence, and to advance education on consent, gender justice, and affirmation of LGBTQ communities. Chris brings extensive executive leadership experience to SIECUS, including having previously run her own consulting business and was the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under the Obama Administration. Christine also brings experience working in state-level agencies and community organizing to SIECUS.

Advocates for Youth (AFY) also works to make sure that sex education is factual and non-discriminating. Founded in 1980, Advocates for Youth envisions a society in which all young people are valued, respected and treated with dignity; sexuality is accepted as a healthy part of being human; and youth sexual development is normalized and embraced. Advocates for Youth champions efforts to help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. AFY believes it can best serve the field by boldly advocating a more positive and realistic approach to adolescent sexual health. We are fortunate that Nora Gelperin, AFY’s Director, Sexuality Education and Training will continue the discussion of who, what and how sexuality education can best be carried out and the obstacles that these educators must face in delivering comprehensive sensitive and factual information.

Nora has more than twenty years of experience providing sexuality education to youth and professional development to education professionals. Prior to joining AFY, she was the Director of Training at Answer where she founded the Training Institute in Sexual Health Education (TISHE) and Answer’s online professional development workshops. She was a community educator with Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey. Nora holds a Masters in School Health Education from Temple University, was awarded a Mary Lee Tatum Award from Planned Parenthood Leaders in Education, and was named a 2014 Fellow of the American School Health Association.

In addition to their 20–25-minute presentations, our speakers will participate in a Q and A session.

The June 25, 2024 virtual CWI noon meeting will be on “Defending the April 2024 Title IX Regulations”.

Why Feminists Should Fight Christian Nationalism?

Tuesday, April 23, 2024 Noon – 1:00 PM

Zoom Meeting Registration Link

CWI has arranged for two experts on Christian Nationalism to help answer the important question of “Why feminists and supporters of democracy should know about and learn to protect our rights and values from the actions of Christian Nationalists in the US?” They are: Andrew L. Seidel, a lawyer and Vice President of Strategic Communications, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Katherine Stewart, a journalist and author. Both are authors of books on Christian Nationalism and featured in the new documentary film God and Country.

In addressing this question, Andrew and Katherine will:

·       Define Christian Nationalism and help us understand its history and how it relates to other forms of Christianity such Evangelicalism and fundamentalism and how it differs from other religious adherence to Christianity or other religions that don’t advocate religious nationalism.

·       Discuss the importance of the separation of church and state in acting as a bulwark against Christian Nationalism. In contrast, note that nationalism is a key reason to make sure the secular Equal Rights Amendment is in the U.S. Constitution.

·       Describe the many ways that Christian Nationalism hurts women and feminists including reproductive rights, public education, and many other aspects of equality.

·       Describe the scope and ways people are influenced to support Christian Nationalism and how it relates to partisan politics and the upcoming US elections.

Andrew Seidel is an attorney and author of two books: The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American (2019) and American Crusade: How the Supreme Court is Weaponizing Religious Freedom (2022) and many articles and op-eds. He has appeared on TV and other media. Before joining Americans United in 2022, he worked at the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Andrew received a BS in neuroscience and environmental science from Tulane University and a law degree from Tulane University Law School in 2009 and a Master of Law at Denver University Sturm College of Law in 2011. He has also been a Grand Canyon tour guide and nature photographer.

Katherine Stewart: Katherine Stewart’s latest book, The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, was awarded first place for Excellence in Nonfiction Books by the Religion News Association as well as a Morris D. Forkosch award. She writes for The New York Times opinion, New Republic and others, and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. The Power Worshippers formed the basis of the documentary feature film God & Country, produced by Rob and Michele Reiner. Stewart’s forthcoming book will be published by Bloomsbury in January 2025.

Celebrating 50th Anniversaries of the Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues, Ms. Magazine and Other Feminist Organizations

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Zoom Meeting Registration Link (12:30-1:30 pm)

Confirm attendance by 3-24 for limited In-Person Meeting. (Noon-1:30 pm) Alliance for Justice, 11 Dupont Circle NW, #500, Washington, DC. with this link:

For Women’s History Month of 2024, the Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues (CWI) is delighted to celebrate its own history and that of other feminist organizations also celebrating 50 year anniversaries. The first 30 minutes of the informal in person March 26 CWI meeting will be at our pre Covid meeting location, The Alliance for Justice, (address above) for attendees to enjoy a light lunch. It will be followed by our hybrid (in person and virtual) meeting at 12:30 pm for our many friends across the country.

During the hybrid meeting (starting at 12:30 pm on zoom link above), we will hear from our long time Vice President, Anne Martin about CWI’s first 30 years described in Women Networking: Three Decades of the Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues (pdf) as well as more in-depth highlights of our meetings during the most recent 20 years. CWI works as an educator and catalyst for feminist action in areas ranging from the arts to fighting sex discrimination and promoting women’s empowerment in all areas of our lives domestically and globally. In doing so our CWI meetings feature the expertise of other feminist and progressive organizations. The meetings provide opportunities for all participants to gain knowledge and insight which will not only further our democratic feminist goals but allow us to honor and work with each other in achieving these goals.

Next we will hear from Eleanor Smeal and Katherine Spillar about 50 Years of Ms. Eleanor Smeal is publisher of Ms. Magazine and President of the Feminist Majority and the Feminist Majority Foundation. Katherine Spillar is the Executive Editor of Ms. and Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation. They will discuss how feminist organizations and Ms. Magazine have advanced and documented progress for gender equality as well as many attacks on our goals such as we are enduring now with the oral arguments (3-26-24) at the Supreme Court to defend the widespread availability of Mifepristone for non-surgical abortions and other reproductive health care.

We have also noted that there are other 50 year celebrations. For example, March 8, 2024 was the 50th anniversary of International Women’s Day. The Women’s Sports Foundation founded by Billie Jean King is celebrating its 50th anniversary as is MANA, a National Latina Organizationthe Society for the Psychology of Women (Division 35 of the American Psychological Association), the Equal Rights Advocates, and the Women’s Department in the American Federation of Government Employees. Let us know what other Feminist organizations are celebrating 50th anniversaries and we will report this in our April CWI newsletter.

“Rethinking Women’s Political Power: Recognizing and Overcoming Challenges to Incumbents, Candidates, Voters and Election Officers”

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 Noon-1:00 PM

Zoom Meeting Registration Link

Please share this invitation and join CWI. Meetings are public and free of charge.

Jan Erickson, Government Relations Director, National Organization for Women, NOW and Co-President CWI and Connie Cordovilla, Fairfax County Election Officer and Vice President CWI will moderate this meeting.

Presenters include:

KDittmar Dr. Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University–Camden; and Director of Research and a Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University ( Kelly authored the recently released report “Rethinking Women’s Political Power.” The Report, examines at the state and local level (1) women’s navigation of the political ecosystem; (2) perceptions about women’s political power and progress, (3) an assessment of the support infrastructure for women in politics in the state (including its service of women across party and racial/ethnic lines); (4) views on the strength and influence of political parties in the state; (5) perceptions on where and with whom political power lies in the state; and (6) insights into opportunities for increasing women’s political power.

MKornberg Dr. Maya Kornberg, Ph.D. is a research fellow in the Brennan Center for Justice’s Elections and Government Program, where she leads work related to information and disinformation in politics, Congress, civic engagement, and money in politics. Maya is also the author of the recent book “Inside Congressional Committees: Function and Dysfunction in the Legislative Process” (Columbia University Press, 2023.) She will be presenting the new Brennan Center report entitled “Intimidation of State and Local Officeholders: The Threat to Democracy,” which she recently co-authored. The report explores hostility faced by local and state officeholders in the United States. The results show that the majority of state and local officials surveyed face hostility, with women and people of color reporting higher levels of violence than their white male colleagues. Many electeds are worried about their family and staff (with women and people of color expressing more concern.) The impact on democracy is also worrisome. A critical mass of respondents shared that they are reluctant to engage with constituents, take on controversial issues, and run for higher office. The research highlights important trends in a growing problem for American democracy. The report also details a number of recommendations for combatting this trend.

Resource Sheet For Fighting the Intimidation of Voters and Election Officers:
Brennan Center Reports on Intimidation of Office Holders, Election Workers and Voters 
Intimidation of Voters and Election Workers Resource Guide-
Another Barrier to Latino Representation: Intimidation of Election Officials—
Intimidation of State and Local Officeholders 
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Know Your Rights: Voter Intimidation 
Georgetown Law School, Fact Sheet: Protecting Against Voter Intimidation
Advancement Project, What to Do if You Experience Intimidation at the Polls
United States Election Assistance Commission, Security Resources for Election Officials
Brookings Institution, One Way to Protect Female Election Officials from Harassment

The next CWI meeting is March 26, 2024 at noon on zoom and in person to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of CWI, Ms. Magazine and other feminist organizations.

Reforming the Federal Judiciary: Expand the Supreme Court, Limit Terms, Restore Legitimacy

Tuesday, January 23, 2024 Noon – 1:00 PM

Zoom Meeting Registration Link

Please share this invitation and join CWI. Meetings are public and free of charge.

Approval of the Supreme Court remains at a historic low. This follows polling last term finding that about half of Americans view the Court unfavorably and would describe the Court as “corrupt” and “unaccountable.” The same proportion, 48 percent, said that the Court is making decisions to take away their freedoms.   

In just the past two years, the conservative supermajority, led by justices placed on the Court by Donald Trump, has overturned laws on abortion, gun control, voting rights, affirmative action, executive power, and privileging religious views to permit discrimination in public spaces.  

As revelations about certain justices receiving elaborate gifts and failing to report gifts and spousal income as required mount, the legitimacy of the Supreme Court has come into serious question. Despite public and congressional scrutiny, the Supreme Court remains resistant to adopting an enforceable code of ethics.  

Calls to reform the Court are growing louder. One change often suggested is to expand the number of justices, perhaps adding four more justices to the current nine. Another possible avenue of reform would limit justices’ active terms to 18 years, rather than allowing for lifetime appointments. A Presidential Commission studied these and other options and issued a report in 2021. 

In addition to support for reform at the country’s highest court, there is increasing recognition that our system of federal circuit and district courts needs serious updating. Two speakers grounded in these concerns and possible solutions will speak at the Tuesday, January 23, 2024 CWI meeting.  

CHRIS KANG – Chris Kang is Co-founder of Demand Justice ( and former Chief Counsel of the organization. Demand Justice is an advocacy organization which aims to inform and empower citizens to fight for progressive change in our judicial systems. Chris serves on the Board of Advisors for the American Constitution Society and was invited to testify before the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court. 

Chris served in the Obama White House for nearly seven years in key roles. He was Deputy Counsel to the President as well as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. Chris oversaw the selection, vetting, and confirmation of more than 220 of the president’s judicial nominees—who set records for the most people of color, women, and openly gay and lesbian judges appointed by a president. In the Office of Legislative Affairs, as an advocate for the administration before Congress, Chris helped spearhead the confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Sotomayor and Kagan, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and passage of the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses.   

Chris also served as National Director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and worked for U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Richard Durbin, of Illinois, as Director of Floor Operations, Judiciary Committee Counsel, and Counsel for labor issues.  

The organization Chris co-founded, Demand Justice, is working to restore balance to the courts by reforming the Supreme Court, expanding the circuit and district courts, and championing new judges with experience as public defenders, civil rights lawyers, legal aid lawyers, and labor lawyers who represent working people. Demand Justice first endorsed Supreme Court expansion in 2018 and called for a freeze on the appointment of corporate lawyers to the federal bench in August of 2019.  Demand Justice publishes an informative Daily Supreme Court News Briefing which reports on cases before the Court and related media coverage.  

REBECCA BUCKWALTER-POZA – Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza is Aron Senior Justice Counsel at the Alliance for Justice. ( An advocate, attorney, and author, Rebecca is best known for successfully suing the forty-fifth president of the United States under the First Amendment with Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute.  

A second-generation American and two-decade veteran of Washington, Rebecca has worked on progressive campaigns and policy projects on five continents, including as a Luce Scholar at Hong Kong’s Asian Human Rights Commission and as Deputy National Press Secretary of the Democratic National Committee during President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.    

 Rebecca went on to direct access to justice project Making Justice Equal at the Center for American Progress, cover the Supreme Court and federal judiciary at NPR with Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg, and originate the role of Judicial Affairs Editor at Daily Kos. She is a co-founder of Prism, a publication that elevates stories, ideas, and solutions from the underrepresented leaders, thinkers, and activists whose voices are critical to a reflective democracy.    

 Rebecca received her A.B. from Harvard College and her J.D. from Yale Law School. A student of military law who observed at Guantanamo, Rebecca clerked for the Honorable Margaret Ryan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces as well as the late Honorable Juan R. Torruella on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.   

The next CWI meeting on Election Reforms is February 27, 2024 at noon on zoom.

Oct 2023 – “The National Women’s Health Network with a focus on Mifepristone”

Zoom Meeting Registration Link 

Denise Hyater Lindenmuth, Executive Director of the National Women’s Health Network and Vice President for Women[s Health at the Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues will serve as Moderator and introduce the National Women’s Health Network ( NWHN was founded in 1975, as a consumer watchdog organization that changes the way the medical establishment listens to women. It has thousands of institutional and organizational members. A donation of $15 also provides a 12 mo membership and other benefits. Special topics of interest include: aging women, maternal health, sexual and reproductive health, abortion, contraception, disability, FDA advocacy, breast health, chronic conditions, LGBTQAI health, mental health and wellbeing, and the social determinants of health. NWHN also analyzes and supports bills and monitors appropriations related to women’s health. It also provides many resources in its key topic areas on its website (

Kristen Batstone from NWHN will provide an update on legal and availability issues for Mifepristone. Kristen Batstone is a Policy Manager at the National Women’s Health Network, where she works on issues related to reproductive health, maternal health and the health and well-being of aging women. Kristen previously worked at the National Rural Health Association, where she managed their women’s health and maternal health legislative portfolio. Kristen was responsible for facilitating relationships with Members of Congress and their staff, as well as developing policy interventions that improved women’s health outcomes in rural areas. Kristen received her undergraduate degree in Women, Gender, Sex and Sexuality Studies from American University, and she is working towards an MPH from George Washington University. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, Kristen witnessed first-hand the inequities women from geographically isolated areas experience when trying to access high-quality, comprehensive health care. She is passionate about modernizing our health systems, expanding and diversifying our health care workforce, and decriminalizing life-saving health care.

In the discussion of mifepristone Kristen will provide a brief history of its use and popularity for medical abortions and then discuss the current legal objections and their implications for the future of abortions in the US. In doing so she will discuss the most recent 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling’s meaning and where do we go from here? To preview she notes, “A recent court decision threatens the national availability of Mifepristone, one of two abortion pill medications used for more than half of abortions in the US. Due to a stay issued by the Supreme Court, abortion pills are still available during judicial proceedings, but a subsequent decision from the Supreme Court could have a devastating impact on abortion access. Even if the Supreme Court sides with abortion advocates and upholds recent FDA guidance that allows Mifepristone to be dispensed through the mail and retail pharmacies, Mifepristone access is not guaranteed due to efforts to codify abortion pill bans at the state and federal level. Regardless of actions taken by courts and Congress, abortion pills will still be available by mail in all 50 states, even in states that ban abortion care.”

 Please come with your questions and suggestions about NWHN and mifepristone.

Remember to register to attend this Oct 24 CWI noon zoom meeting at this Registration Link. The next CWI meeting will be Jan 16, 2024 since the 4th Tuesdays in Nov and Dec fall near holidays.

“Equal Rights Amendment Centennial Convention: A Multigenerational Push in Seneca Falls”

Zoom Meeting Registration Link 

Generation Ratify, a youth led group, focusing on getting the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) into the US Constitution arranged the 100 year celebration of the first introduction of the ERA at the ERA Centennial Convention in Seneca Falls, NY on Fri July 21-Sat. July 22, 2023.  They invited others who had been working decades to get ERA ratified and into the Constitution.  ERA has now been ratified by ¾ of the states as required and is the 28th Amendment to the Constitution, but like many other Amendments is facing opposition to its full enshrinement in the Constitution. The Centennial Convention aimed to help accomplish this goal.

The Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues (CWI) had three Board members attend the Convention and will use this meeting to report on how it was organized, implemented and its accomplishments.  The CWI Board Members who took the ERA bus to Seneca Falls were Connie Cordovilla, Vice President, Membership, Holly Joseph, Treasurer and Loretta Gubernatis Vice-President for Media Outreach who made videos of much of this event.

Connie Cordovilla will Emcee and introduce this meeting. Others, such as Claudia Nachega, Deputy Executive Director, Generation Ratify, Lisa Sales, Pres. of Va NOW, and Zakiya Thomas, CEO of the ERA Coalition will explain the role of their organization and if possible show some key excerpts of speakers from the videos by Loretto Gubernatis. Holly Joseph will describe how this convention builds on our June 20th  CWI meeting on “When Will Women’s Voices Be Heard? Here is the link to a recording of that meeting: . Loretto Gubernatis will discuss the value of working with the younger generation.

Lisa Sales organized a bus from Washington, DC to and from Seneca Falls, NY. In addition to carrying about 40 attendees, she arranged for the bus to be wrapped in ERA symbols to publicize this important event. She also helped organize the kickoff rally from the US Capitol which she will explain and show some of the speeches by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Co Chair of the Congressional ERA Caucus and others. Lisa will also comment on the multi racial and intergeneration interaction of participants.

Claudia Nachega, Deputy Executive Director, Generation Ratify will provide a background on its formation and. success and the impetus for the Centennial Convention. She will also discuss the importance of the younger generation’s participation and plans for the future.

Zakiya Thomas. President and CEO of the ERA Coalition /Fund for Women’s Equality, will describe how the Coalition was one of the many supporters of the Convention and discuss future plans for full recognition of the ERA and how the ERA Coalition operates including it’s participation in the 8/26 60th Anniversary March on Washington and President Biden’s latest statement supporting ERA.

Holly Joseph and Loretto Gubernatis will conclude with key information on what is needed to get Congressional support for approval and implementation of the ERA by pointing out that it is not unusual for an Amendment to the Constitution to have opposition even after it is ratified by the required number of states and the great value in working intergenerationally.

Remember to register to attend this Sept 26 CWI noon Zoom meeting at this Registration Link.

The Oct. 24 CWI Meeting will be on Women’s Health Issues.

“When Will Women’s Voices Be Heard? When Will the Equal Rights Amendment Be Implemented?”

Registration Link (Please register!)

While Europe’s eye is fix’d on mighty things,
The fate of Empires and the fall of Kings;
While quacks of State must each produce his plan,
And even children lisp the Rights of Man;
Amid this mighty fuss just let me mention,
The Rights of Woman merit some attention.

– Robert Burns, from the Rights of Woman, 1792

ERA YES white logo on green rounded background

Holly Joseph, CWI Treasurer, will introduce this urgent and most fundamental subject of “the Rights of Woman” in our own country – these United States – in our own times.  This is a discussion of women’s voices being heard with the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) being a prime focus. 

Alice Paul (1/11/1885-7/9/1977) has been a preeminent champion of women’s rights legislation in the United States.  For having secured the right for women to vote through her tireless work and personal sacrifice to effect the ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920, she then turned her attention toward achieving ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in her belief that the vote alone would not be adequate for women to be full participants in American society.  It has been modified since her original more positive version but is now the following twenty-four words in the first Section: 

Section 1:  Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.

Section 2:  The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3:  This amendment shall take effect two years after the Alice Paul’s 19th date of ratification.     

After ratification of the 19th Suffrage Amendment, Alice Paul’s efforts to get another Amendment to expand rights for women – this one establishing an expression of women’s equality enshrined in our Constitution has not been as successful.  In fact, Alice Paul did not live to see the Equal Rights Amendment included in our Constitution.  A question for us to consider is whether we will all live so long to see it realized.

Over the years, many have tried to keep the ERA from passage on the grounds that it was unnecessary or even that it would be harmful.  Yet polling has suggested wider societal support for the measure than is reflected in Congressional support, the last expression of that being the failure to get Senate approval for the removal of the ERA deadline on April 27, 2023.  (The vote of 51-47 was not enough to overcome the filibuster despite a majority of Senators‘ approval.)

Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, Feminist Majority, Publisher of Ms. Magazine and early President of the National Organization for Women, will enrich the presentation with her vast knowledge of women’s programs as well as knowing Alice Paul and leading the fight for ERA for decades.  Nicole Vorrasi Bates, Founding Member and Executive Director of Shattering Glass, ( will share her perspective on the ongoing efforts to get the ERA in the Constitution.  We ask that all of us reflect on when we were struck with the realization that girls/women were not equal with boys/men.  For us feminists, the question is the following: “What are we going to do about it?”  Achieving the enactment of the Equal Rights Amendment — to establish gender equality in our country’s governing document – will unquestionably strengthen our democracy. 

Remember to register to attend this June 20 CWI noon zoom meeting at this Registration Link

May 2023 – “The Importance of the Separation of Church and State for Feminists” 

  Co-sponsored with Americans United

         Registration Link

CWI is delighted to co-sponsor this zoom meeting with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State ( Feminists are keenly aware that religious extremists and their politician allies are trying to force everyone else to live by their beliefs and to use religion as a license to harm others. This threatens our freedom to live as ourselves, which widens inequality in our communities and country. Women have long been a target and therefore understand the consequences of when the lines between religion and government are blurred. The fundamental right to be treated equally under the law depends upon the separation of church and state.

Three staff members from AU will inform us about AU and its work particularly as it relates to feminist issues.  They are Maggie Garrett, Vice President for Public Policy. Maggie is a legal and policy expert who has been working on church-state separation issues for more than 20 years. Much of her work focuses on ensuring that public funds are used for public schools, and she leads AU’s work to protect the Johnson Amendment, a tax code provision that ensures that tax-exempt nonprofits, including religious organizations, do not endorse or oppose political candidates. Before joining AU she worked with the ACLU of Georgia and Alabama. She graduated from Hamilton College and the George Washington University Law School.  Dena Sher, Associate Vice President for Public Policy, is an attorney with nearly 20 years’ experience working on religion and law. She focuses on blocking efforts to misuse religion to undermine people’s rights. Previously, she served as AU’s state legislative counsel, and started with AU as an Equal Justice Works fellow. Dena also worked for the ACLU, lobbying on federal policy on religious freedom. She graduated from Georgetown University and the George Washington University Law School. AU, with Maggie and Dena’s leadership, chairs the Coalition Against Religious Discrimination, co-chairs the National Coalition for Public Education, and heads up the coalition working to support the Do No Harm Act. The final AU presenter, Catherine Feuille, Madison Legal Fellow, graduated from Dartmouth College and Yale Law School, where she participated in the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. She also has a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University and has experience working in health care delivery.

Maggie, Dena, and Catherine will provide an overview of the constitutional principles and laws that guarantee religious freedom but have unfortunately been misused to cause harm. Their presentation will include a discussion about the repercussions of when the separation of church and state is not upheld:

●      People, especially women, face discrimination.

●      People can’t access healthcare. For example, AU and NWLC have challenged Missouri’s abortion ban because it violates the state constitutional provision requiring church-state separation.

●      Social services that people and families need are jeopardized.

●      Public education is undermined, funding is being drained for private school vouchers, public charter schools may soon be able to discriminate, and religion is being imposed on students who are in public schools.

Remember to register to attend this May 23 CWI/AU noon zoom meeting at this Registration Link.