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RBG: Why We Owe Her

As we honor feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it’s crucial that we commemorate her many, life-changing accomplishments.

Over the past four decades, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become an icon and pioneer of gender equality and women’s rights. RBG passed away last Friday, leaving many of us heartbroken – we have lost an honorable and legendary fighter. That being said, it is incredibly important to commemorate RBG. We owe many of our rights to Ginsburg, so it’s crucial to honor her life accomplishments. Although she had obstacles thrown at her from every which way, Ginsburg endured them time after time; through her fight, RBG changed the course of history and in turn impacted America immensely.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg attended Harvard Law School as one of nine women. Despite obstacles surrounding gender inequalities at the time, RBG came through and proved herself a fighter when she graduated at the top of her class.


Again, RBG’s fortitude serves as an inspiration; upon graduating and finishing her studies at Columbia, she finished tied for first in her class.


Ginsburg became a faculty member at Rutgers Law School. Upon the realization that her salary was lower than that of a male colleague, she became part of an equal pay campaign among other women at the university. Her courage spurred many other women to hop on board and join the campaign.


Ginsburg’s first Supreme Court case: Reed v. Reed. RBG succeeded in abolishing the discriminatory law in Idaho that unfairly deemed administrators of estates on the basis of their sex.


RBG lead the American Civil Liberties (ACLU) Women’s Rights projects with the aim of fighting against sex discrimination and in turn granting women more opportunities. She represented the ACLU in the supreme court, fighting for the individual rights of women.


Ginsburg won the case Frontiero v. Richardson which resulted in the abolishment of pay discrimination by gender within the military.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s hard work spurred the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, a mandate allowing women to acquire credit cards; the result was the banning of discrimination against individuals in credit transactions on the basis of race, sex, marital status, religion, or age. 


RBG won the case Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld, prohibiting gender-based distribution of state benefits. She exemplified that this was discriminating working women who, due to tax imbalances, held fewer family benefits than that of working men. Furthermore, she made the case that men were being denied the opportunity to care personality for their children.


Ginsburg fought diligently against pregnancy discrimination in the workplace with WRP staff attorney Susan Ross, which resulted in the Pregnancy Discrimination Act that deemed pregnancy discrimination in the workplace as unlawful sex discrimination.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg was selected to fill a supreme court justice spot; RBG was the second female justice in history. She served on the Supreme Court for 27 years.


In another successful case, United States v. Virginia, Ginsburg stated the majority opinion in the Supreme Court which led to the allowance for women to enroll at Virginia Military Institute which has previously solely permitted men.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the first Supreme Court justice to officiate a same-sex marriage ceremony.

How can RBG’s legacy be credited enough?

Featured Image from Lorie Shaull on Flickr.

Free to use, no attribution required.

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