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UniteWomen.org’s Birth

by Shannon Fisher

 

In early 2012, the amount of legislation threatening women’s rights reached such a fever pitch that an immense groundswell of support for a resurgence of the Women’s Rights Movement developed all across America.  Women everywhere had been looking for a way to band together to protest the chipping away of their rights! Images of the arrests of peaceful, silent protesters standing up against the 2012 mandatory ultrasound legislation in Virginia’s General Assembly were indelibly etched into the minds of women around the country. The founders of Unite Against The War On Women saw these Virginia arrests, and personhood bills making their way through several states, on the news. They also watched in horror as a Congressional panel on contraception, comprised entirely of men, denied testimony to a Georgetown Law Student, Sandra Fluke.

“I don’t know why women haven’t taken to the streets over this War on Women.”

“If we build it, they will come!”

The two friends hung up the phone.  Later that night, Karen Teegarden started a Facebook page with the click of a mouse and Unite Against The War on Women was born. Fueled by pure passion, and inspired to fight, thousands of people joined that Facebook group within a matter of 24 hours.

The organization grew exponentially, forcing organization in short order with a clear goal: just two months after the start of the organization, on April 28, 2012, UniteWomen.org organized 55 simultaneous women’s rights rallies and marches in 45 states to protest the War on Women.

Very quickly, Karen realized that the initial goal of planning rallies across the country would only be the beginning of the work they could do to educate the public on issues affecting women and begin to change the cultural and social conversation disrespecting women overall. In that first week, she focused on the overall vision of what this movement could become and the potential impact it might have on society. Hence, UniteWomen.org was born.

Over a year later, the UniteWomen.org Facebook page has over 80,000 followers and UniteWomen.org has a reach of 24 million people worldwide – thanks in large part to the medium it utilizes to the fullest extent possible: social media.  Thousands of volunteers participate in women’s rights efforts on a daily basis, and there are hundreds of Facebook groups within the organization.  UniteWomen.org grew from an idea in a late-night phone conversation between two friends into an established, effective force for women’s rights in a matter of months.  Those thousands of women hoping to take to the streets in protest have done just that – and they aren’t about to stop now!

 

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