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Remembering RBG: An Icon For Women’s Rights And Female Empowerment

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at WVU chapter.

We can’t talk about women’s rights without talking about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg resonated with so many people across the country, especially with women. We are mourning the loss of such an influential woman who played a big role in the fight for women’s rights. Rather than focusing on her death, I want to highlight just how impactful she was during her life.

Early Accomplishments

We have to acknowledge the fact that RBG went to a prestigious college and finished first in her class. She graduated from Cornell University in 1954 and went on to Harvard Law School, where there were only eight females in a class of 500 students. She also was the first female member of “The Harvard Law Review.” Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School where she not only was elected to the school’s law review, but once again graduated first in her class. 

After school, she worked under Judge Palmieri for two years— a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. This gave her many job offers, but they all were at a lower salary than the men in the same profession. She later became a professor at Rutgers Law School. Because of her students’ requests, she began to teach a seminar about women and the law. Then, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, the first law journal on women’s rights. Ginsburg taught at Rutgers until she was offered a position at Columbia University in 1972. She was the first female professor at CU to earn tenure. 

As if all of these accomplishments weren’t impressive enough, she also directed the Women’s Rights Project of ACLU, which is a non-profit organization that helps fight for citizens’ individual rights and liberties in the United States. Her next big accomplishment was when she was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1980, on which she served until she was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993.

Supreme Court Accomplishments

Ginsburg was the first female Jewish Supreme Court justice and the court’s second female justice. She worked to fight for women’s rights throughout her career as a justice. Some of the cases she played a large role in were United States v. Virginia , Bush v. Gore, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Obergefell v. Hodges, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt and so many more. 

Her influence in these cases led to so many advances in the fight for women’s equality, including the right to attend any public university, the right to a fair wage, the right to marry anyone and keeping the right to have an abortion.

Not only did RBG have such a huge impact on the Supreme Court and certain rulings, but she even worked while battling pancreatic cancer. Until 2018, she did not miss a single day of oral arguments— even with cancer! 

RBG’s Legacy

Simply put, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an icon. She played a crucial role in every woman’s life across the country, even if they do not know it. Her intelligence, wit, and persistence led to so much good and so much power. She was a force to be reckoned with and a true inspiration for so many women. Even with all of the hardships she endured throughout her life, she managed to persevere and make a name for herself, which is something we all should take inspiration from.

“Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” 

Rest in Power, RBG.

Elizabeth is a junior from Wheeling, West Virginia at West Virginia University. She is majoring in multidisciplinary media studies with concentrations in journalism, marketing and strategic social media.
Kasey is a senior at West Virginia University from Elkton, Maryland. She is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Strategic Social Media, Sport Communications and Fashion Merchandising. She loves writing, being outdoors, listening to music and going to concerts. Most importantly, she is an avid Katy Perry fan. In the future, she hopes to do PR for a sports team.