Resources for Teachers and Students on Bella Abzug
Prepare: Bella Abzug, one of the most colorful American
activists to emerge from the 1960s, often claimed to have
been born yelling. She ran for the United States Congress
in 1970 on a peace and feminism platform, and represented
her Manhattan district from 1971 to 1976. She died in 1998.
Her biography can be found on the Jewish
Bella Abzug's Architects
of Peace essay is excerpted from her book, Gender Gap:
Bella Abzug's Guide to Political Power for American Women.
In it, she reflects on how closing the gender gap will result
in a more peaceful world.
Explore: There has for years been a strong link
between feminist politics and the peace movement. This linkage
continues into the present, as is demonstrated by the platform
of the National Organization for Women, NOW. You can explore
Feminist Agenda for Peace" on their website.
Write: In her Architects of Peace essay, Bella Abzug
complains that male politicians view women as a special-interest
group. Is this still the case? In what ways has the entry
of women into the political mainstream changed the political
landscape? Are nations any less likely to engage in warfare
as a result of the emergence of women politicians? Write
a three-to-five page reflective essay delving into these
questions and concluding with your thoughts about women
in politics and the likelihood of war.
Extend: The League
of Women Voters, LWV, maintains an excellent website
that includes an e-library of archives from their magazine,
The National Voter. They have an up-to-date interactive
section called "Get
Involved" which lists issues of special pertinence
to the LWV, and provides the opportunity to contact Congress
directly about your concerns.
Additional Resource: The
Women's Environment & Development Organization
was co-founded by Bella Abzug in 1979. In addition to their
concern about sustainable development, their program areas
include: gender and governance; economic and social justice;
and U.S. global policy. Their website includes an extensive
on-line library about related issues.
Biography of Bella