NOW is the largest, most comprehensive feminist advocacy group in the
United States. Our purpose is to take action to bring women into full
participation in society — sharing equal rights, responsibilities
and opportunities with men, while living free from discrimination.
Founded in 1966 by a small but determined group of women's rights advocates, NOW has more than 500,000 contributing members and hundreds of chapters across the U.S. NOW members are the heart, soul and muscle behind the group. They elect leaders, set policy and determine our agenda. NOW's vast and diverse membership gives us clout in the government, media and the public eye. By speaking out and taking action, NOW activists make change happen at the local, state and national level. Because we don't rely on foundation or corporate dollars, NOW's work for equality and justice is made possible by membership dues, individual donations and volunteer hours.
NOW is one of the few multi-issue progressive organizations in the United States. NOW stands against all oppression, recognizing that racism, sexism and homophobia are interrelated, and that other forms of oppression such as classism and ableism work together with these three to keep power and privilege concentrated in the hands of a few.
Government, our judicial system, big business, mainstream media and other institutions treat many groups in our society like second-class citizens. Pitting us against each other is an essential mechanism for maintaining the status quo. Together, we can create the change we've been dreaming of — our unity is our strength.
Affirmative Action - Child Care, Custody and Family Law Issues - Disability Rights - Educational Equity / Title IX - Exposing the Radical Right - Global Feminism - Health and Body Image - Media Activism - Peace - Social Security - Welfare - Women in the Military - and much more!
Educating the public and media about the status of and threats to women's rights
Organizing rallies, protests, demonstrations and marches of all sizes
Protesting businesses that mistreat women and people of color
Lobbying for and writing laws that promote full equality for women
Registering new voters and inspiring them to get to the polls
Recruiting and electing feminist candidates at all levels of government
Initiating and supporting lawsuits against violators of women's rights
Demanding fair and unbiased courts and judicial nominees
Working in coalition with progressive allies
Each NOW member can get involved at your own speed. Once you join, you'll start receiving our National NOW Times newspaper, a great place to start if you simply want in-depth analysis on feminist issues. If that gets you fired up, you can sign-up for email alerts and take action right on our web site. Get even more involved by joining your local chapter at no extra cost. Then, you might want to attend a National Conference and help shape policy. It's up to you...but whatever you do, you'll be making a difference.
Women win the right to vote in 1920.
The birth control pill is approved in 1960.
The Equal Pay Act is passed in 1963.
The Civil Rights Act passes in 1964, outlawing sex discrimination in employment.
In 1967 NOW leads a successful fight to extend Affirmative Action in federal contracts to women.
In 1972 Shirley Chisholm, first African-American woman to run for president, is endorsed by NOW.
Women win Title IX in 1972, prohibiting sex discrimination in education and school athletics.
In 1973 Roe v. Wade establishes a woman's legal right to abortion.
In 1978 feminists win a ban on employment discrimination against pregnant women.
Sexual harassment is ruled an illegal form of job discrimination in 1986.
NOW wins money damages and jury trials for sex discrimination in Civil Rights Act of 1991.
Family and Medical Leave passes in 1993.
The Violence Against Women Act is signed in 1994 and mass action by NOW ensures funding.
NOW organizes to bring 1.15 million marchers to DC in 2004 for women's health, reproductive rights.
Public support for same-sex marriage has grown due to education and activism by groups like NOW.
Women are paid only three-quarters of men's pay, while women of color make even less.
Racism, sexism and homophobia are rampant, limiting the potential of more than half the country.
A woman has never been President of the U.S., nor been nominated by a major party.
Women make up less than one-fifth of the members of Congress and state governors.
Women hold the top positions at less than three percent of the Fortune 500 companies.
Women are vastly under-represented in science and technology professions, the military, judicial seats and many prestigious fields.
Increased restrictions on reproductive rights leave women and girls with less control over their bodies, health and well-being.
Women and girls are more than 85 percent of all U.S. rape and domestic violence victims.
Congress and most states do not grant equal marriage rights to lesbian and gay couples.
More than 90 percent of those struggling with eating disorders are women or girls; women are 85 percent of cosmetic surgery patients.
Poor women, women of color and women with disabilities experience a disproportionate amount of discrimination, violence, interference in their private lives, and other barriers to equality.
Women's equality still is not guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution — but we don't intend to quit!
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