Obama plans national monument to honor women’s rights

By Cheryl Chumley

Sewall-Belmont House and Museum
Sewall-Belmont House and Museum

President Obama on Tuesday is set to designate a new national monument – the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum, a facility that since 1929 has served as the headquarters for the National Women’s Party.

The NWP was organized in 1916 to fight for equal pay between men and women, and for voting rights for women.

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Obama’s designation is timed to coincide with Equal Pay Day, a day set aside by women’s groups to fight for what they say is fair workplace compensation.

“[This] designation will permanently protect one of the oldest standing houses near the U.S. Capitol and help preserve an extensive archival collection that documents the history, strategies, tactics and accomplishments of the movement to secure women’s suffrage and equal rights in the United States and across the globe,” the White House said in a statement reported by the Hill.

Obama’s due to deliver remarks about equal pay and women’s rights at the facility, and to honor Alva Belmont and Alice Paul, who were early leaders of the National Women’s Party, the Washington Post reported.

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So far, Obama’s established 22 national monuments via the Antiquities Act. This latest national monument will underscore a long-running mantra of the White House to enact equal pay measures; Obama’s first bill in 2009 was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which eased the path for lawsuits over gender discrimination at the work site, the Hill reported.

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