By Jeanne Munchick
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WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — After a more than 10-year hiatus, the Westchester Chapter of theNational Organization for
Women (NOW) has relaunched with a bold goal.
It’s mission: To use its platform to get women — and men — re-involved in what’s being called “new feminism” (think Emma Watson at the U.N. starting an international #hashtag movement and the cheers of approval when Patricia Arquette sounded the call for equal pay at the Academy Awards.)
The newly invigorated group is headed by Lisa Hofflich of Mount Vernon, Raquelle Frenchman of Rye, Trina Ward Fontaine of Armonk, Susan Hawkins of Bronxville and Elizabeth Nutig of Irvington.
The goal, said Hofflich, Westchester NOW’s president, is to dive head-first into issues and legislation that challenge traditional ideas of gender equality including equal pay for equal work and the protection of reproductive rights.
The group will also focus on newer issues such as transgender civil rights, body shaming, paid family leave, sexual assault and rape.
“Each generation winds up reinventing feminism for itself,” said Hofflich. “But while some things got better for some women over time, other related problems and concerns popped up that echo many of the same inequities we heard 40 years ago.”
Call it the fourth wave of feminism or a reboot of the principles of equality that women have always claimed for themselves, she said of NOW’s plans to “battle” via the connective power of technology.
“The Internet has become an increasingly important space for feminist activists,” said Hofflich. “Take the almighty keystroke, multiply it by a few hundred or thousand ‘likes’ or hashtags, and you’ve got yourself a movement that can be as effective as an in-person rally or demonstration.”
If interested in learning more, Westchester NOW’s first chapter meeting will be held March 26, at 7:30 p.m.in the Rotunda in Mercy Hall on the Mercy College Dobbs Ferry Campus, at 555 Broadway in Dobbs Ferry. Go towww.westchester-now.org/ for more details.
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