Sunday, December 10, 2017


PROGRAM: Melanie Rice spoke on Women in Rotary.  Ms. Rice is the DGN for our district.  She joined the Norco Rotary club in 2002, is currently a member of the Corona Rotary club for which she was rejected as a member in the late 1990s because of her sex.  She outlined the history of women in Rotary which begins with women creating a variety of auxiliary efforts, all rejected by Rotary for full membership since 1911: Rotaryanns still exist today, and the Inner Wheel has over 100,000 members, women who support Rotary without any Rotary recognition.  This is a large number considering that the full membership of women in Rotary is about 200,000.  The USA has the greatest number of Rotarians worldwide and 28% are women.

Rotary removed the word “Men” from the title, the Men’s Club of Rotary from all of their titles in 1980.  Prior to that, and out of Duarte, CA, that club admitted the first woman and RI promptly suspended their charter.  That group continued as the “Ex Rotary Club of Duarte” until the US Supreme court told all men’s service clubs that it was unconstitutional to deny membership based on sex, etc.  That was in 1981.

By the by, Indio Rotary remained all men until about 1993-ish.  Just ask Roger about that.  Then ask me about being the first woman member of Indio Rotary……we have stories!!!!!

Some members of Rotary await the election of the first woman RI President…..perhaps in the next decade?