Women’s rights activist Faye Wattleton was born on July 8, 1943. I had the pleasure of meeting her when she served as President of Planned Parenthood. She spoke during the Annual Meeting of the YWCA of Baltimore, where I served as a board member. Her mere presence is awe inspiring. Ms. Wattleton served as the youngest and first African American president of Planned Parenthood for 15 years ( 1978 – 1992). Trained as a nurse, she saw the consequences of poor health care. In stepping forward to help effectuate a change in health care, Ms. Wattleton became one of the nation’s most effective advocates for women’s health care. Under her leadership, Planned Parenthood grew to become the 7th largest non profit in America with a $500 million budget to advance women’s reproductive rights.
Ms. Wattleton served as the president of the Center for Advancement of Women
( “CFAW”) for another 15 years from 1995-2010. CFAW conducts research and analysis on women’s attitudes and opinions to influence public opinion and policies necessary to advancing women in society. As of July 2, 2010, Ms. Wattleton stepped down as President of CFAW. Business Week named her one of the best managers of the non profit sector in the country.
Through Faye Wattleton’s steadfast leadership in advancing women’s rights, health care and other causes, women have made significant strides. We’ve come a long way but there’s still so much more work to be done.
Happy Birthday Faye Wattleton!