Bella Abzug, a Hunter College alumna, discusses women's involvement in government, the contradictory nature of democracy, and feminism. She raises the issues of climate change, gender inequality, and women as agents of social change (CUNY Graduate Center, December 3, 1992). 


Bella Abzug stands with Shirley Chisholm, Betty Friedan, and Gloria Steinem as one of the most important figures in the women's rights movement of the 1970s. Throughout her life, Abzug was known for her loud voice, flamboyant style, and large hats. She began her professional career as a lawyer in the 1940s and was a noted advocate for numerous leftist causes. These included civil rights cases in the South and cases related to the advancement of women's rights. By the late 1960s she had become a vocal critic of the Vietnam War. In 1971, she was elected to serve New York's 19th District in the House of Representatives where she served until 1977. Her tenure in Congress was notable for her unflinching support of women's rights, and she was one of the loudest and most visible supporters of reproductive rights and the Equal Rights Ammendment. In 1977, she competed in the contentious primary for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of New York City, eventually losing to future mayor Ed Koch. After several failed bids for various Congressional seats, Abzug retired from elected office. Though she never again held elected office after 1977, she remained an important figure in politics, women's rights, and social justice causes until her death in 1988. 
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