Delco Times - "DCHS hosts a live virtual conversation on women’s path for equal rights"



DELCO TIMES - April 8, 2021

By Kathleen Carey


Delaware County Historical Society will highlight the paths of local women leaders while delving into the historical component of women’s equal rights in its next virtual community conversation.


At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14, DCHS will host a free dialogue on “Women’s Journey for Equal Rights.” Registration is necessary at padelcohistory.org,

“DCHS aims to make local history and historic figures relevant to the residents of Delaware County, in a hope that understanding our history will aid in the understanding of the challenges we face today,” Laurie J. Grant, DCHS executive director, said.


The program will highlight the contributions of Alice Paul, a county resident who attended Swarthmore College and transformed constitutional history. Delaware County women who are pioneers and leaders in their fields will also share their personal experiences about coming up through the ranks in male-dominated professions. These will include:

  • Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Judge Linda Cartisano, one of the first of a handful of women judges in Delaware County;

  • Dr. Merle Horowitz, retired Marple Newtown School District Superintendent, an administrative role that has traditionally been filled by men and still has few women in those positions, although the majority of teachers are women

  • Rep. Joanna McClinton, House Minority Leader for PA


The conversation will also host James R. May, distinguished professor of Constitutional Law at Widener University Delaware Law School. May will provide historical contest and examine the historical and constitutional background of the 19th Amendment and the importance of equal citizenship for women today. May will lead a discussion on the exploration of the continuing quest to extend equal liberty promised by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to African-Americans and women.

Women’s issues remain as relevant today as they were in 1920, when women were granted the right to vote, an anniversary greatly downplayed due to the pandemic, itself a health crisis that has forced women out of the workplace at alarming rates. Last year, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify equal rights, yet whether those rights will be included in the Constitution remains unknown.

However, this year, U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon joined her colleagues in voting for a resolution that eliminated the deadline for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, an act she said moves progress forward with protections against sex discrimination in the Constitution.

During the “Women’s Journey for Equal Rights” conversation, DCHS board member and Chester blogger Stefan Roots will serve as moderator and lead a question and answer session will follow the discussion.

Delaware County Historical Society is temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19. However, visits or research are available by appointment. To make an appointment, e-mail research@padelcohistory.org or call 610-359-0832. To inquire about “Women’s Journey for Equal Rights,” please e-mail community@padelcohistory.org. More information about DCHS scheduling and guidelines can be viewed at padelcohistory.org, where a Virtual Museum Gallery also showcases current displays.



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