Women’s Rights Advocate Betty Friedan to Speak at Wellesley College February 23

For immediate release:
February 18, 2005
Public Information

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Betty Friedan, one of the foremost pioneers of the modern women’s movement in the United States, will speak at Wellesley College Wednesday, February 23, beginning at 6:00 pm. The event, to be held in Houghton Memorial Chapel, is free and open to the public.

“Friedan is a fabulous educator, leader, and role model,” said Emily Amick ’07, president of Wellesley Women for Choice, the student organization sponsoring her visit to the College. “She was instrumental in starting a national dialogue about women’s issues and civil rights and has dedicated herself to advocating for issues that are central to women’s lives.” Amick said that Friedan will speak in particular about her experience as a pro-choice activist and current challenges to reproductive rights. Her brief remarks will be followed by a question-and-answer period.

Friedan’s first book, The Feminine Mystique, published in 1963, is regarded by many as being a catalyzing event of the women’s movement. In 1966, she helped found the National Organization for Women and served as its first president, leading national efforts to increase women’s representation in government, legalize abortion, and direct efforts to end sex-classified employment notices, among other issues.

Friedan also is the author of It Changed My Life: Writings on the Women's Movement (Random House, 1976), The Second Stage (Summit Books, 1981), and The Fountain of Age (Simon & Schuster, 1993). She has been a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center at the Smithsonian and continues to write and speak about feminism and issues related to aging.

Wellesley College has been a leader in liberal arts and the education of women for more than 125 years. The College's 500 -acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students.