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 Women's Archive.

Read: 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 NOW's "Progressive 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 Abzug