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National NOW Times >> Fall 2006

In this Issue

NOW PAC: Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling

NOW PAC at work in the Northwest RegionNOW's Political Action Committee (NOW PAC) met in Washington in September and concluded after an analysis of the pending races that it is a real possibility for the U.S. House to change hands in November and that the NOW PAC can make an impact on some of the key races.

Access: Reclaiming Our Options One Pharmacy at a Time

In the wake of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision to allow Plan B emergency contraception (EC) to be sold without a prescription only to women 18 and older, NOW is not optimistic about access to emergency contraception for younger women who are at risk.

NOW Celebrates 40 Fearless Years at National Conference

Celebrating 40 years of fearless feminism at our annual conference, NOW proved that women are not simply aging gracefully—we are growing stronger every year.

More Conference Quotable Quotes

Speakers and Honorees at the 2006 National NOW Conference and Young Feminist Summit offer their thoughts.

NOW Begins 40th Anniversary Oral History Project

As NOW celebrates its 40th anniversary, members and activists have been saddened by the passing of so many of our early and longtime leaders. We've honored these women in recent issues, including founder Betty Friedan, former President Molly Yard, former Action Vice President Sheri O'Dell, and several former members of the National Board. NOW's history, often recorded only in the memories of the women and men who lived it, is evaporating before our eyes. The NOW Oral History Project is designed to record and preserve the history of the largest and most effective organization in the second wave of the women's movement.

Endowment Will Secure Financial Future of Feminism

NOW begins an unprecedented campaign, leading up to the 50th anniversary in 2016, to provide NOW with the financial resources to grow in size, power, and influence.

Viewpoint: Make Levees, Not War

While New Orleans still awaits full rebuilding efforts, the Bush administration continues to benefit from the disaster.

Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Summer a Success!

Jackson, Miss., was the place to be in July when Operation "Oppress" America targeted the Jackson's Women Health Organization, pledging to close the last clinic in the state. NOW activists' goal: to fight back and support the efforts of the only abortion provider in the state, to protect patients and staff, and to keep the clinic open. In the end, NOW declared the week a success!

NOW Activists Taking Action from Alabama to Idaho

Never afraid to take a stand, fight for an underdog, or lead what may seem to be impossible battles, six NOW state organizations received grants to increase women's political participation and make a difference in this fall's elections by increasing the women's vote.

South Dakota Ban: Taking the Long View

NOW organizes to reverse the abortion ban in South Dakota -- pushing voters to understand the importance of protecting women's health and respecting women's need to plan their families.

Anti-Marriage Initiatives

This November, voters in eight states will be considering proposed amendments to their state constitutions that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. The language of the amendments varies by state, but all would prevent marriages between couples of the same sex, and some going further than that.

Toxic Platinum Found in Women with Implants; FDA Decision Expected on Risky Silicon Breast Implants

NOW and other women's health advocates are concerned that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), despite our formal objections, will nonetheless permit risky silicone gel breast implants, approving sales of the devices while many critical safety questions remain unanswered.

NOW Continues Campaign to End Violence Against Women in Juarez, Mexico

Over the last decade, nearly 400 women have been abducted and murdered in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua, Mexico. Many of the murders share a similar modus operandi–the women are brutally beaten, raped and killed, and their bodies left in the desert or on a secluded street. Most of the victims have been young women on their way to or from work at maquiladoras, or assembly factories. Little has been done to solve the crimes or prevent more killings.

NOW continúa la campaña para poner fin a la violencia contra las mujeres en México

En la última década alrededor de 400 mujeres jóvenes han sido secuestradas y asesinadas en Ciudad Juárez y Chihuahua, México. Muchos de estos asesinatos coinciden en el modus operandi: las mujeres son brutalmente golpeadas, violadas y luego asesinadas y sus cadáveres abandonados en el desierto o en alguna calle aislada. La mayoría de las víctimas son jóvenes que se dirigían camino al trabajo en las maquiladoras o de regreso a sus hogares. Poco se ha adelantado en la solución o prevención de estos crímenes.

NOW Celebrates Intrepid Women and 40th Anniversary at Annual Gala

NOW's fourth annual Intrepid Awards Gala was a joyful celebration set in the elegant Columbia Room of Union Station in Washington, D.C. NOW chose the theme of "40 fearless years" to mark its anniversary, so it was no great coincidence that the women accepting Intrepid Awards that evening were all, by definition, resolutely courageous, fearless and bold.

Reproductive Justice is Every Woman's Right

Reproductive rights advocates are demanding a comprehensive movement that addresses women's reproductive health and choices. As the largest multi-issue women's rights organization in the United States, for 40 years NOW has advocated for reproductive freedom and access to reproductive health services for all women. Under three frameworks (Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Health, and Reproductive Justice), NOW continues to campaign for women's reproductive justice.

2006 National NOW Conference Resolutions

At the 2006 National Conference, NOW activists passed resolutions to address the following: in-store access to birth control; international feminist issues; fair immigration reform legislation; reproductive justice campaign; 9/11 investigation; the U.S. Tennis Association's discriminatory practices; the wage gap and economic justice for women; and the so-called Parental Alienation Syndrome.

Attention Members of the South Central Region

Members attending the Women of Color and Allies Summit at the Mid America All-Indian Center on Saturday, May 5, 2007, will be asked to vote during time set aside for regional business on proposed By-Law changes.

Love Your Body All Year with NOW's 2007 Calendar

Highlighting NOW Foundation's popular Love Your Body Campaign, the new 2007 NOW calendar is a compilation of beautiful never-before-seen artwork from the annual Love Your Body poster contest. It includes fast facts about women's health and body image, and inspiring ideas for actions you can take to improve women's lives.

The Dove Campaign: Conforming or Transforming?

Who hasn't seen the Dove advertisements that feature women of different shapes, sizes and colors posing proudly in their underwear? What many people don't know is that these ads are about more than a smart way to sell skin care products to women. The award-winning ads are part of Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty, an effort the company says "aims to change the status quo and offer in its place a broader, healthier, more democratic view of beauty." It might come as a surprise to some, but the campaign didn't begin and hasn't ended with the moisturizer ads.

Legislative Update

NOW examines relevant legislation from Congress' recent session: potential transfer of House to Democrats; Plan B approval; "Teen Endangerment Act"; pending harsh immigration reform; estate tax raid on treasury; and federal marriage amendment.

NOW Scores with UN Human Rights Report

In late July, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations promised to examine the concerns of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (U.N. HRC) on sex discrimination in the U.S. That commitment marked an important outcome for women in the United States and for the NOW Foundation, which presented detailed documentation of employment discrimination against women in the United States and lobbied the U.N. HRC for a report that would prompt U.S. response.

U.S. Lacks Support for Breastfeeding Mothers

NOW encourages both legislative action and societal acceptance to promote and defend breastfeeding.

Women's Magazines Make It Difficult to Love Your Body

NOW Foundations examines the messages sent to readers by popular women's magazines. The Love Your Body Campaign challenges women to care for their bodies beyond the media's maneuvering.

Young Feminist Summit Participants Agree: The Best is Yet to Come!

In classrooms, workplaces, restaurants, and shopping malls all over the country, the young women who attended NOW's Young Feminist Summit will speak up for what is right and create change in their communities. And when they do, Ellie Smeal's words will resonate in their minds: "the best is yet to come!"

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