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Lawyers Club of San Diego is a specialty bar association committed to advancing the status of women in the law and society. We use this space to share articles written about Lawyers Club events and programs and items of interest to our members which are relevant to our mission. The opinions outlined in content published on the Lawyers Club of San Diego blog are those of the authors and not of Lawyers Club. All members are encouraged to participate respectfully in discussions regarding the topics posted on the blog. Guest writers are welcome. Guidelines for writers may be found on the Leadership Resources page.

 

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Women’s Suffrage For My 10-Year Old

Posted By Guest Blogger Mikhak Ghorban, Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Later this year, the United States will mark the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote. To celebrate this historical moment, I thought to share the importance of the event with my daughter. But explaining how long and how hard women fought for the right to vote to a 10-year-old girl is a little challenging. How am I to introduce her to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton without her rolling her eyes and losing interest? 

 

So, I thought I would first consider what women’s voting rights means to me before I share it with my daughter. I was born in Iran and spent my early years living in the capital of Tehran. I spent my school years in the US. I attended law school in the US; I practice law in the US; I became a mother in the US. However, my first introduction to voting and women’s rights came from hearing my mom and aunt talking about voting in Iran in 1979.


Iranian women were granted the right to vote in 1963, but their rights have been restricted since the Islamic Revolution. In late March of 1979, there was a referendum on creating an Islamic Republic. This single issue was determined by either casting a vote with a red card for no or a green card for yes. There was no registration; no voting booth for privacy; no way to maintain voting security; and certainly no anonymity for the voter's vote when she is using colored ballot card in front of the ballot box. Because of the lack of privacy, security, and anonymity, citizens were frightened to be seen voting against theocracy. They were risking verbal and possible physical attacks from the election monitors who were pro-Islamic. Even with the potential of retribution, my mother and aunt, two Iranian women in their 40s, exercised their right to vote for the first time in their lives, and voted against a regime change in their country.


With that memory, I set to explain to my daughter what other women around the world face -- how they are not permitted to voice their concerns. I explained how lucky she is to have the freedom to vote as millions of people, women especially, who do not have such rights to freely vote for what they want.


I’m thankful to my mother for having the courage to exercise her right to vote in the presence of potential harm, and to my dad who supported her choice. I am thankful that my daughter, Klara, never knew how she and her brother could have been subject to such restricted rights of Iran.


I tell her that if she truly cares about her world, then she has to go out there and vote. Every election, I take my children to my local polling station so they can watch me vote and to get “I voted” stickers! I want my children by my side as I exercise my right to vote. Growing up in a country where women don’t have equal rights motivates me to make sure my daughter never takes her civil liberties for granted.

 


Editor’s Note:
The 19th Amendment states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” To learn more about the Amendment and centennial commemorations, please visit http://www.2020centennial.org/learn. 107 years ago, on March 3, 1913, the “Woman Suffrage Procession” took place in Washington, D.C., giving the suffrage movement a new wave of inspiration and purpose.


Mikhak Ghorban practices family and immigration law at Ashtari & Ghorban, LLP and is the 2019–2020 cochair of the Lawyers Club of San Diego’s Membership Committee.

 

 

 

 

Tags:  19th Amendment Centennial  civil liberties  civil rights  constitutional amendment  Iran  Islamic Republic  Islamic Revolution  polling  polling booth  polling place  suffrage  suffragettes  theocragy  voting  women’s suffrage 

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March!

Posted By Sara Waller, Saturday, August 25, 2018

This coming SundayAugust 26, at 4:00 p.m. the Women’s Museum of California will celebrate Women’s Equality Day by participating in the 13th Annual Suffrage Parade in Balboa Park. This parade commemorates the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. For those of you who are not history or constitutional law buffs, the 19th Amendment prohibited citizens from being denied their right to vote based on their sex. That’s right folks, on August 261920women finally won the right to vote.

 

It took women advocates nearly 100 years to win the right to vote, and although we are nearing the 100th anniversary of that right, women throughout this country, including right here in San Diego, are still fighting for equality. Equality in politics. Equality in the workplace. Equality in education. Equality in health. Equality at home. Last year, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017 indicated the United States had fallen four spots (49th out of 144 countries) in gender parity.

 

Although we may not agree on all political issues, one thing is certain: Women are independent individuals who deserve equal rights and responsibilities under our Constitution. Our unique experiences and perspectives deserve to be included in the equation and the discussion, and women deserve a seat at the table. The only way to reach gender equality is to continue putting ourselves out there. With our slow growth toward equality, and recent backslide, it is no wonder there are a record-setting number of women running for the U.S. House in 2018. We need to put our name in the hat, and we need to get out and vote. If we stand together, we can achieve incredible things.

 

Let’s make ourselves be seen and heard! All are welcome, and participants are encouraged to wear white, wear sashes and/or buttons, and to waive Suffrage, ERA, Equal Pay, #MeToo, and other movement signs to celebrate our journey toward equal rights.

 

Participants will meet in the lawn area across from the Organ Pavilion, and the Suffrage Parade will move through the Prado and Organ Pavilion areas. Anyone interested in marching with their fellow Lawyers Club members THIS SUNDAY (August 26th), please contact Vaani Chawla at vchawla@chawlalaw.com for more information. 

 

Sara Waller wrote this for the Lawyers Club Equality and Action Committee. 

Tags:  19th Amendment  equality  marge  parade  suffrage  Suffrage Parade​  women  Women’s Equality Day  Women’s Museum of California  women’s vote 

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