This committee investigates issues of gender discrimination and equality in the legal profession and in the legal system. The committee may undertake projects as deemed necessary or appropriate to ensure fair treatment and equality of all members of the legal profession and all participants in the legal system. The focus for this committee includes follow-up to the findings of the latest NHBA Gender Equality Survey, including development of a proposed voluntary certification process of non-discriminatory, family-friendly employment policies for legal employers to be presented to the NHBA Board of Governors.
Gender Equality Breakfast
Philip S. Hollman Award for Gender Equality
Each Midyear Meeting is kicked off with the Gender Equality Breakfast sponsored by the committee. The Breakfast is a time and place to mark the progress the profession has made, as well as to celebrate the awarding of the Philip S. Hollman Award for Gender Equality.
This year’s breakfast speaker will be Liz Tentarelli, president, League of Women Voters NH. The League of Women Voters New Hampshire, a non-partisan all volunteer organization whose mission is to Empower Voters and Defend Democracy. The League is a direct descendant organization of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, celebrating 100 years since its founding.
Liz is a retired educator with a master’s degree from UNH. She has held elected and appointed offices in the towns where she has lived, most recently as a library trustee in Newbury NH. Liz is also a member of the Citizens Advisory Board to the NH Correctional Facility for Women. In 2015 and 2016 Liz represented the League in a joint project with the NH Women’s Bar Association to raise funds for a portrait of NH’s own suffragist, Marilla Ricker, which now hangs in the State House.
The Politics of the Women’s Suffrage Movement
The year 2020 commemorates the centennial of women’s right to vote in the form of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the culmination of 72 years of efforts by millions of women and men for women’s rights. It would be naive to think, however, that suffragists were unified in their strategies. The politics both within the suffrage movement and in the ratification process include some issues that still resonate today. Even states where there was strong public support for women’s rights claimed that women’s suffrage should come from changes in state laws and state constitutions, not from a federal amendment imposed upon the states.
Today election law is largely left up to each state, within the broad framework of federal amendments. Thus New Hampshire has same-day voter registration but not online registration, for example. Some states have independent commissions to draw their voting districts every ten years; New Hampshire does not…yet! The fight for voting rights continues.