1973 Montreal International Convention Kiwanis Club of Olympus-Salt Lake City, Utah submits a proposal to amend the male only standard for membership. The proposal is rejected.
1974 Denver International Convention 1974 – similar amendment to the Montreal convention meets defeat
April 1977 New York Court of Appeals upholds that Kiwanis International falls within the “private club” exception to discrimination claims. Maintains male-only membership. The organization has the right to revoke the charter of clubs that violate the policy.
June 1978 Lawsuit filed against Rotary International Duarte Rotary Club has charter revoked for women being included on club roster, club fills suit Club aided by the American Civil Liberties Union Duarte lost case in California on appeal, ruling is overturned
January 1984 Kiwanianne Clubs are chartered by Kiwanis International for the wives and widows of Kiwanians in an effort to address the issue of female members. 1,500 women join the first year!
June 24, 1986 Houston International Convention The Board of Trustees introduces an amendment to allow women, co-sponsored by nine Kiwanis clubs Amendment is debated then defeated – 2,295 ayes, 2,555 nays – receiving 47% of the vote “To admit women to become members of Kiwanis harms no one: to prohibit women from becoming members harms us all. The Kiwanis name will suffer by their inclusion; indeed, it will probably suffer more from their exclusion.” Judge Sarokin
Defying the decision By 1986 estimated 40 clubs were defying the male-only policy Stephanie Pearlman Pangaro - Passaic, New Jersey Carol Slocum - Del Mar-Solana Beach, California Marlene Perrin and Lollie Eggers – Iowa City, Iowa Sandy Pina - Boyle Heights, California Lorillie Thompson - Olympia, Washington
May 1987 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Rotary International appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court - the overruling was upheld. Rotary club charters that had been revoked due to the membership requirements were reinstated. All Rotary International clubs are opened to female members
July 7, 1987 Washington D.C. International Convention Amendment 2 was introduced by Chairman Wil Blechman “Gentlemen, the purpose of this amendment is to permit women to become members of Kiwanis” 14 clubs and the Board sponsor the amendment Amendment 2 allowing women into membership in all countries passed by 2/3 majority taken by standing vote
Clubs lead the way September 22, 1987 - the first women’s club in Taiwan, Taipei-Diana October 23, 1987 - the first women’s club in Europe forms, the Kiwanis Club Skien Nora. In the Norden District after a few three years there were nine female clubs. October 1988 - the first women’s club in Latin America, La Renovación in Bogot á, Colombia
Growth of Kiwanis First 6 months - more than 3,000 women join By September 1988 - 8,500 women join By 1994, 40,000 women were serving as Kiwanians By 1997, 49,000 women were Kiwanians making up nearly 15% of the total membership Now, women make-up 26% of the membership
Women lead the way 1991: Michelle McMillen, Key Club 1993: Marycel L. Carreon-Engracia, Philippine South 1993: Patricia Rust, Rocky Mountain 2001: Lisa McCoy, Texas-Oklahoma 2002: Grete Hvardal, Norden 2004: Hui Wan “Michelle” Wu, Taiwan 2004: Grete Hvardal, Norden 2007: Jane Erickson, Nebraska-Iowa
We have benefited greatly… “ By this very significant change both internationally, nationally and locally, women have added a welcome point of view to our clubs. They have become leaders and very willing workers in our many public service activities and programs. Everyone is pleased and have generally forgotten the controversy of 20 years ago. They are treated as equals which is and was their rightful place.” Don Ernst, past trustee Olympia Kiwanis Club (May 2006)
Much more to come Honor women in your club and community Reach out to other women to join Mentor women in leadership
Celebrate women! Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. Helen Keller KiwanisOne.org/Women