According to CNN box stats flashed on-screen, over half the delegates to the Democratic National Convention are women. They were in evidence at two events that took place on Monday.
From 8am-2pm, a symposium entitled Unconventional Women was held.
The lead organizer of the event was former U.S. Ambassador to Austria, Swanee Hunt. Sliding scale
admission fees benefited four nonpartisan partners: Women"s Voices, Women Vote; Women"s Campaign Forum; Latina Initiative; The White House Project.
"Politics without women like you is a recipe for injustice," was the tag line. In a
television interview with local news, Hunt spoke about the impact women have when
they become involved in a political structure, such as Congress. She maintained that
the influence of women creates a shift in budget priorities -- to the areas of education,
health care, and the environment. Hunt also observed that women drive a focus to groups
that have been traditionally marginalized.
In the afternoon, a "Feminist Gathering and Celebration of Women's Equality Day" was
hosted by the National Organization of Women, The Feminist Majority, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and the
National Association of Social Workers.
Behind a podium draped with a banner that declared, "Feminists are the Majority,"
a series of speakers addressed the assembled crowd.
Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority, told listeners, "Feminists are everywhere."
She qualified the Democratic platform as "the strongest platform for women's rights every adopted by a major party in the United States." She discussed how it opposed "any and
all efforts to undermine Roe v. Wade," adding, "You name it, we got it in." She talked about
the strength of the Democratic ticket asserting that on women's issues, "Sen. Biden has been there time and time again."
EMILY"S List President, Ellen R. Malcolm, stated,
"I think we are going to see change in this country because we are going to have the
largest turnout of women we have seen in decades." She spoke about the anger of
women who had been "left behind by the Bush Republicans," and how "women have
the power to take our country back."
Congresswoman Maxine Waters
thanked the attendees for standing up for the women of "this nation and this world"
while urging that women's issues not be compromised. Kim Gandy, President of NOW, emphasized that the issue wasn't just about protecting women's rights, but "moving
Reflecting on the critical importance of the 2008 election, Congresswoman Jackie Speier
invoked the specter of a Supreme Court with McCain appointees. She said of each
individual's need to participate, "If we don't do it, it won't get done."
On a humorous note, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney noted, "This is the strongest pro-woman platform I have seen since
I learned to read." A strong advocate of the ERA, she pointed out that it had been
reinstated after its deletion in 2004.
There were special remarks to commemorate the achievements and contributions of
Stephanie Tubbs Jones (1949-2008).
During prime time convention coverage, the visibility of women on stage was matched
by that of women delegates on the floor. The evening ending with Michelle Obama's
rousing speech and call to arms, "The world as it is, just won't do."