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Interview: Gloria Allred on her induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame

Sep 14, 2019

The National Women’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony is Saturday. Attorney Gloria Allred, will be recognized as a trailblazer and pioneer for women’s rights. She is known for often taking on controversial and high-profile cases. 

Allred says she’s grateful to be recognized along with other women, some of whom, like Sonia Sotomayor are her “sheros,” as she calls them. 

Gloria Allred a founding partner of the law firm of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg (AM&G) which is a nationally leading private law firm which takes on women's rights cases.
Credit National Women's Hall of Fame

Gloria Allred:

I’m just looking forward to congratulating them as well.

Noelle E. C. Evans:

And with this induction, Gloria, you mention that you’re excited. We’re also at a point where it’s about 100 years since women have been able to win legally the right to vote. We also have President Trump in the Oval Office who you have ben in a case against with his victims. So, we’re after the Me Too era, you’ve been fighting for this for decades before Me Too, where do we stand now and how does it feel stepping into the Women’s National Hall of Fame at this time?

Gloria Allred:

Well, I’m so glad you framed it the way you did, Noelle, because you said 100 years since women won the right to vote. And that’s important that you put it that way because so many people say oh, almost 100 years ago, women were given the right to vote. That’s false. We were never given the right to vote. We had to fight to win it for 72 years starting in Seneca Falls in 1842 and preceding until 1920. That’s how long it took, 72 years for women to win the right to vote. So they waged that battle and I’m inspired by that battle and that battle continues today because we need to fight to win the passage of the equal rights amendment, which we have been working to win since 1923. So, we have a long way to go but we are inspired and we are going to continue to fight this fight because as I always say, no one has ever given women rights at all we’ve always had to fight to win them and we will continue this battle for as long as it takes and with whatever it takes to win it.

Noelle E. C. Evans:

Do you have a vision for the future for women’s and human rights and what a perfect legal landscape might look like?

Gloria Allred:

My vision for the future is that we win the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution. That equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. That’s what we’ve been working to add to the U.S. Constitution since 1923. And… 2019 it’s a disgrace that we still do not have that. But we’re going to have to fight for it and that’s the only way we’re going to win it. 

So that will give us some legal weapons to use in this battle for women to enjoy equal rights and equal protections under the law. Right now, for the most part, it’s still second-class citizenship for women, whether they realize it or not. I do as a lawyer. And you know this, we just have to have equal rights for women and it’s just kind of ridiculous that in 2019 we’re still fighting to win it and haven’t won it yet. And you know hopefully one day we’ll have a woman president as well because we always say a woman’s place is in the house – the White House.

Noelle E. C. Evans:

There are activists here who I see fighting and it’s like they’re screaming at the top of their lungs trying to break through and then falling away for a bit and then coming back, how to you keep from burning out with these battles?

Gloria Allred:

And that’s a very good question because you’re right, many activists do burn out. Well, for me it’s all about expectations It’s all about knowing options. It’s all about knowing what is possible and what is not. Because while I’m an idealist I’m also a pragmatist. And I know what the law is and I know what the facts are, and I know what we can do and what will not be able to be accomplished. And I also know what’s worth fighting for.

Noelle E. C. Evans:

That’s attorney Gloria Allred. She herself was a victim of rape before she began her career in law – she says her attacker held her at gunpoint and that she later suffered hemorrhaging from a back-alley abortion. Abortion was not legal at that time nor place. She did not report the rape.

She has since fought for women’s rights in a career that has spanned over 40 years, entering legal battles that could at times could possibly even resemble the battle she chose not to fight for herself all those years before.