Zonta International remembers Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion for gender equality

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on Friday, 17 September, at the age of 87. A true trailblazer in the male dominated legal field, Ginsburg was one of only nine women in her Harvard Law School class and the first woman to earn a position on the prestigious Harvard Law Review. When her husband graduated from Harvard, Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School where she graduated at the top of her class. Despite these achievements, law firms were still unwilling to hire a woman and Ginsburg received no employment offers from any of the firms she interviewed with after graduation. Still, she persevered, becoming one of America’s first female law professors and later the first woman tenured at Columbia Law School.

Ginsburg devoted her legal career to challenging laws that barred women from jobs or denied them their rights, working to extend equal protection under the law to include gender and strategically using male plaintiffs to challenge laws that discriminated on the basis of sex. She co-founded The ACLU Women’s Rights Project; and, as general counsel for the ACLU, Ginsburg argued six landmark gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court, successfully winning five. She was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993, only the second woman to sit on the court, where she served until her death. In her almost three decades on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg was an unwavering champion for gender equality and equal rights.

“Justice Ginsburg worked tirelessly to ensure women’s equal rights under the law,” said Zonta International President Sharon Langenbeck. “As advocates for gender equality and human rights, our members in the United States and around the world share Justice Ginsburg’s commitment to ensuring equal opportunities for women and girls. We will continue to fight for equal rights for all as we remember Justice Ginsburg and celebrate her legacy.”

21 September 2020