HomeUS News updateFormer Rep. Pat Schroeder, pioneer for women’s rights, dies

Former Rep. Pat Schroeder, pioneer for women’s rights, dies

WASHINGTON – Former US Representative Pat Schroeder, a pioneer for women’s and family rights in Congress, died Monday night. She was 82 years old.

Schroeder’s former press secretary, Andrea Camp, said Schroeder had recently suffered a stroke and died at a Florida hospital where she had been living.

Schroeder handled the powerful elite for 24 years with her rapacious wit and antics, forcing government institutions to accept that women have a role to play in government.

Her unorthodox methods cost her important committee positions, but Schroeder said she was unwilling to join the “good old boys’ club” just to score political points. Afraid to publicly embarrass her congressional colleagues, she became an icon for the feminist movement.

Schroeder was elected to Congress in Colorado in 1972 and became one of its most influential Democrats as he easily won election 11 times from his safe district in Denver. Despite his seniority, he was never appointed to head a committee.

Schroeder helped create several Democratic majorities before deciding in 1997 that it was time to leave. Her parting shot in 1998 was a book titled “24 Years of Housework … and the Place is Still a Mess”. My Life in Politics,” which chronicled her frustration with male supremacy and the slow pace of change in federal institutions.

In 1987, Schroeder tested the waters for the presidency, leading a fundraising campaign after fellow Republican Gary Hart dropped out of the race. She announced three months later that she would not run, saying that her “tears were a sign of compassion, not weakness.” His heart wasn’t in it, he said, and he thought fundraising was demeaning.

She was the first woman on the House Armed Services Committee, but was forced to share a chair with U.S. Representative Ron Dellums, D-Calif., the first African American, when committee chairman F. Edward Hebert, D-La. did. Panel. Schroeder said that Hebert thought there was no room for a woman or an African American on the committee and that they each only deserved half the seat.

Republicans were furious after Schroeder and others filed an ethics complaint over House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s televised college lecture series, alleging that the free cable time they received was an illegal gift under House rules. Gingrich became the first speaker to be reprimanded by Congress. Gingrich later said he regretted not taking Schroeder and his allies more seriously.

Earlier, he had rebuked Gingrich for suggesting that women should not serve in the war because they could contract the infection from being in the trenches for 30 days. According to his official House biography, he once told Pentagon officials that if they were women, they would always be pregnant because they never said “no”.

When asked by a Congressman how she could be a mother of two young children and a member of Congress at the same time, she replied, “I have a brain and a uterus, and I use both.”

It was Schroeder who nicknamed President Ronald Reagan the “Teflon” president for his ability to avoid blame for major policy decisions, and the name stuck.

One of Schroeder’s biggest victories was the signing of a family-leave bill in 1993, which provides job security for caring for a newborn, sick child or parent.

“Pat Schroeder blazed the trail. Every woman in this house is following in her footsteps,” said Rep. Nita Lowe, D.N.Y., who took over from Schroeder as Democratic chair of the bipartisan congressional caucus on women’s issues. .

Schroeder said legislators paid too much attention to contributors and special interests. When House Republicans gathered on the steps of the US Capitol to celebrate his first 100 days in power in 1994, he and several aides climbed the building’s dome and hung a 15-foot red banner that read, “SOLD”. Went.”

A pilot, Schroeder made his way through Harvard Law School with his flight service. After leaving Congress, Schroeder became a professor at Princeton University, but has said that politics is in her blood and that she will continue to work for the candidates she supports.

For a time, he taught a graduate-level course called “The Politics of Poverty”. He also presided over the Association of American Publishers.

She later moved to Florida, where she continued to work in politics.

Schroeder was born on July 30, 1940, in Portland, Oregon. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1964 before earning his law degree. From 1964 to 1966, she was field attorney for the National Labor Relations Board.

She married James W. Schroeder in 1962. The couple had two children, Scott and Jamie.



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