NEW YORK – The executive director of the historic Women’s City Club of New York, Jacqueline M. Ebanks, said on Saturday that the U.S. electoral campaign has been a wake-up call for the nation’s women as far as their rights and position in society are concerned.
Ebanks, who heads the century-old organization that helped promote female suffrage in the city back in 1917, said the shocking way of talking about women in this year’s campaign should make people stop and think.
She said the denigrating language used about women should be a wake-up call about the kind of democracy Americans want to have, an inclusive democracy where all have a role to play – people of color, women, immigrants and everyone else.
Despite that, the WCC director expressed her enthusiasm at the possibility that a woman, in this case Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, could become the first female president in the history of the United States.
Ebanks did not go so far as to say that Clinton has sparked a new wave of feminism in the country, but did say that the campaign has highlighted the inequality between men and women.
Asked if women are worse off now that they can join the work force and often must become “superwomen” who raise a family while practicing a trade or profession, Ebanks said that however one looks at it, today’s women live better and have more rights than their mothers and grandmothers did.
But there are still problems, or course. For example, women have two weeks of paid maternity leave, and many new moms who stop working for a time have no guarantee they will get their jobs back.