Feminist and Education Equity Pioneer Joy Simonson Dies

Joy Simonson died on June 24, 2007 after many accomplishments on behalf of Title IX and the women’s rights movement. From 1975 to 1982, Joy was the executive director of the National Advisory Council on Women’s Educational Programs. Under Joy Simonson’s leadership the Council helped the Department of Education and the Women’s Educational Equity Act Program by preparing some of the first reports on women’s studies, sexual harassment, and the first edition of the Handbook for Achieving Sex Equity through Education. With the election of former President Ronald Regan, however, she was fired by the new president’s appointments to the council. Her replacement was a follower of Phyllis Schafly, a mouthpiece for the anti-women’s rights movement.

During Joy Simonson’s career she was the first women to serve as chair of the DC Alcoholic Beverage Control Board; President of the Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues; chief hearing examiner for the DC Rent Commission; Assistant Director of the Federal Women’s Program of the US Civil Service Commission; president of the DC League of Women Voters; vice president of Executive Women in Government; and was the founder of the DC Commission for Women. From 1982 to 1990, Ms. Simonson worked as an oversight investigator for the House Employment and Housing Subcommittee. In 1992, she was elected to the District of Columbia Women’s Hall of Fame.

There will be a memorial service for Joy Simonson on July 22 at the Women’s National Democratic Club in Washington DC.


National Research Center for Women and Families; Veteran Feminists of America; Global Action on Aging; FMF

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