Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg – A Supreme Inspiration

Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life fighting for women to be treated equally.  In doing so, she became an inspiring role model for women and girls around the world.

Her passion for women’s rights began when she was young.  She started off her adult life having trouble finding a job.  Even though she was smart, determined, and capable of doing the job, she was passed over primarily because she was a woman. She felt like she was being treated unfairly, or discriminated against, only because she was a woman.

Even at a young age, this did not sit well with Ms. Ginsburg.  And she wanted to do something about it. She knew this was wrong.  But at the time there were no laws in the United States to protect her.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Young Adult

Early Law Career

She decided to devote her career to being a lawyer and fighting for equal rights of women.  Then, early in her legal career, when she was 29 years old, Ms. Ginsburg took a trip to Sweden to perform legal research.  What she saw really focused her on fighting for women in the workplace.

To begin, in Sweden, she saw a female judge, seven months pregnant, presiding over a trial.  Then she observed law school classrooms in Sweden where about 25 % of the students were female vs. her own law school where about 2% were female.  Seeing the progress women had made in Sweden convinced her even more that America was behind and wrong in its treatment of women.

Back in the USA, where laws advocating for women’s rights were missing to not accept things as the were.  sShe decided that she would help invent laws, write them, and defend them. Ginsburg would also become a professor to help other women to become lawyers so that they could do the same thing.

And then, in 1993, after years practicing and teaching law, she became only the 2nd female justice of the Supreme Court.  Her nomination was approved 96 to 3.

At only 5′ 1″ tall and a generally quiet person, Ms. Ginsburg’s power came from her focus, her determination, and her integrity. She went on to become an inspiring role model for girls and women around the world and one of the most respected justices in history.  She changed the lives of many women and girls in the United States and beyond.

Here is a video of her inspiring life and work:

Additional Resources:

Topics for Discussion:

  • What inspired Ms. Ginsburg to become a lawyer?
  • How do you define discrimination?
  • What character traits define Ms. Ginsburg?
  • Have you ever been treated unfairly or seen someone treated unfairly? How did it make you feel?
  • If you were a lawyer, what would you fight for?

Take Action:

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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