Celebrating 3 Women Activists During Women’s History Month

Making Progress for Women’s Equality

Feminism and equality for women is not a new idea. This didn’t come from hippie, oversexed, crazy women who hate men. Women for centuries have always fought for equality and it is a need that is way overdue. Here are 3 women who have made strides in creating an environment of equality for women.

Maud Wood Park

Maude Wood Park                                Activist

Who She Is

An activist who fought for women to have the right to vote. She was the first national president of the League of Women Voters. Maud formed and was the chairperson of the Women’s Joint Congressional Committee. This committee lobbied congress to pass legislation in favor of women, pregnant women and infants.

Why She Is Awesome

One of her accomplishments, The Cable Act of 1922, gave immigrant, married women independent citizenship. Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Protection Act of 1921 is another of her accomplishments. This Act gave federal aid to state programs for mothers and newborns to help reduce the growing mortality rate of that era.

Dolores Huerta

Who She Is

Co-founder, organizer and negotiator of the United Farm Workers Association. Known to be one of the most influential labor activists and leaders of the Chicano Movement. Advocate for farm workers, immigrants, women and children.

Dolores Huerta fighting for better working conditions for farm workers.

Why She Is Awesome

While Dolores was a teacher in California, she realized she could no longer stand to see the poor children of farm workers suffering any more. She quickly, became an organizer for farm workers negotiating on their behalf for better working conditions including pesticides that were not as harmful and healthcare benefits. Because of her work, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975 was signed into legislation. This “allowed farm workers to form unions and bargain for better wages and conditions”.

Dolores Huerta                                Activist

“Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, Huerta worked as a lobbyist to improve workers’ legislative representation. During the 1990s and 2000s, she worked to elect more Latinos and women to political office and has championed women’s issues”.  -National Women’s History Museum



Gloria De Leon

Who She Is

Gloria De Leon                               Activist and Co-Founder of NHI

Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of the National Hispanic Institute. As Gloria worked in various government positions in both the state and federal levels, she knew there was a need for an avenue for Latino leadership and co-created NHI to serve as a Latino Leadership Institution. NHI has worked with 120 higher education institutions and with over 70, 000 students from across the nation.

Why She Is Awesome

Gloria has been an advocate for Latino leadership since the 1970’s creating an avenue for young Latinos to succeed in education, government and leadership. I first met Gloria in college as she was 1 of our amazing advisors for my sorority and eventually became 1 of my sorority sisters. Gloria led us to believe that as women, there may be barriers, but we could overcome them and accomplish our own goals. She encouraged us to recognize the need for change within our community and to find the solutions that would demand that change.



I asked Gloria to share a bit of herself with us and gave her 5 questions to answer.

1. Do you see yourself as a woman who has made a positive impact?

Yes!  My favorite quote is “People may doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do.”  I purposely placed myself in environments where my voice and actions would be seen and felt by specific audiences — national and international youth as co-founder of the National Hispanic Institute; emerging Latina leaders as the longest serving advisor to Kappa Delta Chi; and a positive representative of my roots — McAllen, the Rio Grande Valley and my alma mater, UT-RGV.

2. Who was the woman you wanted to emulate as you were set out to accomplish your goals?

My mother, Herlinda Ovalle De Leon modeled the way for each life goal.   Like many daughters, I was amazed at the strength, stamina and sacrifice of my mother. My epiphany was two-fold.  One, my mother could have accomplished so much had she been privileged to access education, financial stability, and options beyond marriage, children and minimum wage employment. Second, while she fulfilled all the traditional roles, she unconsciously diverted mine.  Instead of household chores, she encouraged me to read.  She challenged me NOT to “grow up to fast” and enjoy my youth.  Subsequently, I steered away from serious relationships, graduated from college, traveled, lived on my own, moved away from home, created financial security long before I settled down with my husband.  I made choices people still don’t understand, such as foregoing bearing children.  But in 2017, my Mother’s 100th birthday, I live the life she envisioned for me– defined by choices best for me.

3. Where would you like to see women’s role in the future and is it up to us to truly seek equality?

Equality.  While I love the purest sense of the word, and can envision it, I express a linguistic concern.   It’s akin to the movie “Desperately Seeking Susan” or the song, “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places”.  It becomes an elusive, unattainable, David and Goliath fight. My point is don’t get caught in something you can’t define.

The best advice is “go with your strength”.  When I see women roles in the future, I see products, industries, services that can uniquely belong in a woman’s space — where WE ARE THE EXPERTS. (Could SPANX have been conceived by anyone other than Susan Blakely?).

In the world of tomorrow, we need to stop asking what is the problem we need to solve, i.e. equality and focus on what is the ASSET we need to leverage.  Women can be the best, most competent in areas uniquely inspired by the life they have lived, the obstacles they have faced, and the resolve they can define for themselves.

4. There are a number of sex strikes through out history that were successful. With today’s clout over sexism and women’s rights, should we as a mass conduct in sex strikes to “wake people up” about the reality of sexism in America today?

Wow, I have to admit that sex strikes are an interesting strategy.  But what would women have to admit — that sex is our strongest negotiating tool?  Or that men cannot function without sex? And, women could only negotiate with heterosexual males.   When I think of WHO makes decisions affecting women, I think of OLDER men.  Will this strategy work since 57% of men between age 57-85 years old with partners are interested in sex? (psychecentral.com)

Might work on a small scale, targeting certain male age groups, such as college campuses, but don’t know 100% of women would support it.

5. Do you have words of advice for younger women who seek a need for equality?

Equality is a state of mind.  I would suggest young women master resiliency. Learn everything you can about how easily life can sidetrack, detour, or destroy YOUR life.  Surround yourself with master mentors, not just girlfriends.  The only way to learn strength and resiliency is to be open to the honest feedback of a contrary opinion.  A master mentor is one who will give you the hard facts, but will productively devote the time to positively redirect your thinking.  Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone, write an email, invite someone for coffee.  All the women I’ve been privileged to know over my lifetime have been very generous with their time.  I think it’s the greatest compliment anyone can give you when you reach out to someone and say, I want to learn from you.


“Maud Wood Park.” Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 02 Apr. 2014. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

“National Women’s History Museum.” Education & Resources – National Women’s History Museum – NWHM. N.p., 05 Feb. 2010. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

“The Sheppard–Towner Maternity and Infancy Act.” US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

“National Women’s History Museum.” Education & Resources – National Women’s History Museum – NWHM. N.p., 05 Feb. 2010. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

“Dolores Huerta.” Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 05 Dec. 2016. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

“Gloria de León.” The National Hispanic Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

“Gloria DeLeon.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Mar. 2017. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

Author: sixchelbydinachavezblog

Fashion Designer at SixChel: An ethical, sustainable fashion brand for the modern woman.

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