1999 National NOW Conference Resolutions

  • Adopt Family Law And Custody as Priority Actions in NOW
  • Affirmative Action
  • Further Clinical Research on Breast Implants With Supporting Legislation in Congress
  • Building Bridges For Lesbian Rights
  • Fighting Campus Rapes
  • Opposing The Diversion of Public Resources to Religious Organizations And Their Affiliates For Public Health Care And Social Service
  • Early Childhood Education And Child Care
  • Comparable Worth/Pay Equity
  • 1999 Delineation of Lesbian Rights
  • The Economic Implications of The Prison-Industrial Complex
  • Hate Crimes
  • Expansion of Reproductive Freedom to Include The Midwifery Model of Care
  • Tapestry of Polygamy
  • NOW Calls For National Day of Action to Pull The Plug
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Title IX – Standing up to The Backlash
  • Ending The Vatican’s Special United Nations Status as an Observer State
  • Virtual March 2000
  • Women-friendly Workplace And Campus Campaign: Detroit Edison Merchant

  • Of Shame
  • World March of Women 2000
  • Feminist Expo 2000


    WHEREAS, an overwhelming number of communications are received by the National Organization for Women (NOW) at the chapter, state and national levels from women who complain of injustice in family law courts, especially in cases involving domestic violence and child custody; and
    WHEREAS, women lose custody of their children, despite being good mothers, despite a lack of involvement of the father with the children, and regardless of a history of being the primary caregiver; and
    WHEREAS, a growing number of women who sue for child support experience a retaliatory suit for child custody; and
    WHEREAS, many women who try to leave abusive husbands find that divorce court is a place where the abuse is allowed to continue, as abusers use custody to retain control over them and their children; and
    WHEREAS, the growing so-called "fathers' rights" legal industry is using custody suits as a lever to lower child support; custody awards are all too often distorted by anti-woman bias, money and politics; and
    WHEREAS so-called "fathers' rights" groups are connected nationally and in many states and areas have undue influence in the courts, political parties and the halls of legislature, and their strategies are replicated and modeled throughout the states, while women facing divorce and custody fights are isolated and alone and often lack sufficient funds to afford the legal battles currently necessary to be successful; and
    WHEREAS endorsements of judicial candidates are even more effective than for legislative races because people have less information and NOW has such high credibility; and
    WHEREAS, taking action against such gender bias is well-suited to the organizing and lobbying abilities, and fighting for justice for women involved in custody suits and divorce has been found to be a hot issue for NOW chapter organizing, membership recruitment, and public awareness of NOW's issues;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW adopt a policy which expresses the suggestions of current feminist research and writing, including 1) a call to fully fund and implement judicial education regarding domestic violence, 2) a demand for meaningful judicial accountability and performance reviews of elected and appointed judges, 3) a model for selection and pre-selection of candidates for elected and appointed judicial posts; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all chapter and state NOW PACs be urged to include judges and judicial candidates in their endorsement and support process and that chapters be encouraged to enable women and organize around this issue, using seminars on divorce, custody, finance, domestic violence, etc, as well as public forums, hearings and court watches; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW recognize family law and custody as crucial and urgent action and organizing issues in the lives of women and children; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National  Action Center assist state and local NOW chapters to advocate for reform, in ways including, but not limited to: 1) compiling model legislation, sample testimony, available research, etc.; 2) aggressively speaking out about this issue to other organizations, the public, and the press; 3) assist NOW units active on this issue to establish contact with each other; 4) create a membership/organizing brochure on these issues; 5) collect, organize and report on relevant information from chapters; 6) work with lawyers' organizations, particularly women lawyers, to encourage increased pro-bono representation for women who cannot afford private counsel in custody issues; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a Conference Implementation Committee be formed to
    oversee and assist in the implementation of this and other related resolutions.


    WHEREAS, an anti-affirmative action climate is growing nationally; and
    WHEREAS, affirmative action policies have played an important role in breaking down barriers to equal opportunity and equal employment; and
    WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long history of support for Affirmative Action Programs and is against discrimination based on race and gender; and
    WHEREAS, all city, county, and state entities are required to file Title VI Assurance Plans; and
    WHEREAS, the federally-required Disparity Reports on government contracts show discrepancies disproportionately benefitting white males; and
    WHEREAS, these reports are available to all people in all cities, counties and states;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that chapters of the National Organization for Women (NOW) be urged to promote the creation of a commission to look at these reports and their corresponding issues; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, as an alternative, chapters be encouraged to establish ad hoc groups to work in coalition with other community organizations to gather and review this data in order to judge the feasibility of filing a complaint with the appropriate agencies (EEOC, Federal Attorney General) on behalf of women.


    WHEREAS, in 1996, the National Organization for Women (NOW) passed a resolution that stated, "Therefore Be It Resolved, that NOW work to educate women and men about the details of the breast implant issue and the product," and, "Be It Further Resolved, that NOW support individuals affected by the breast implant issue by supporting legislative intervention and avenues of relief"; and
    WHEREAS, in 1997, NOW passed a resolution that stated, "Therefore Be It Resolved, that NOW supports legislation funding research on possible side effects of implantation with silicone shell breast implants"; and
    WHEREAS, in December of 1991, the House of Representatives of the 102nd Congress issued a committee report, "The FDA's Regulation of Silicone Breast Implants", which found that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not fulfilled its responsibility of protecting and adequately informing consumers regarding these products and that this responsibility remains unfulfilled to this day; and
    WHEREAS, the current published failure rates of these devices are much higher than estimated in 1993, when FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler stated that a failure rate of even 5% was “not a safety standard that the FDA can accept” in an article of the Journal of Biomedical Material Research, and that a recently published study by scientists at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, examining 8,000 explant cases, found that rupture rates occur at 30% over 5 years and up to 70% over 17 years; and
    WHEREAS, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), noting the deficiencies of current research findings, recently recommended that all breast implant patients be extensively surveilled, that all prospective breast implant patients be provided with enough information to make an informed decision, and that more definitive research be conducted; and
    WHEREAS, much of the data concerning breast implants is seriously flawed, and since new and important findings possibly indicating serious health consequences for breast implant wearers are about to be released, and additional clinical studies are being planned by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and
    WHEREAS, silicone activists have worked with U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer, Mary Landrieu, and Kay Bailey Hutchison, as well as U.S. Rep. Gene Green and other members of Congress in order to have legislation introduced known as "The Silicone Breast Implant Research and Information Act(s)"; these bills ask NIH to conduct independent and unbiased research, and "require more accurate and timely dissemination of information to women who consider silicone breast implants," and conduct other activities;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW calls upon Congress to pass such legislation, to make funding by NIH and other government agencies a priority, to disclose the findings of such studies to the public promptly, and to strengthen such legislation in light of the IOM recommendations and other considerations; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourages all chapters to make available comprehensive, unbiased information regarding the effects of breast implants; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW support in spirit the efforts of activists to encourage the creation of a carefully monitored system of tracking all implant patients on a long-term basis with reports of rupture, illness or disease being presented in a timely fashion to the FDA.


    WHEREAS, the successful April 1999 National Organization for Women (NOW) Lesbian Rights Summit brought over 800 lesbians and allies to Washington D.C.; and
    WHEREAS, the Summit enhanced opportunities for NOW to expand our campaigns for lesbian rights and the rights of bisexual, transgendered, and gay people; and
    WHEREAS, the Summit experience demonstrated the need for NOW to strengthen bridge building between lesbians and allies; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people and straight people; feminists and LGBT organizations and LGBT people; and feminist and non-feminist lesbians, including the need for consciousness raising; and
    WHEREAS, building bridges includes the need for ideas such as NOW New Jersey's "Ask and I’ll Tell" campaign and similar efforts to strengthen participation of allies; and
    WHEREAS, building bridges is particularly important in light of continual anti-LGBT campaigns such as the Knight initiative, the proposed constitutional amendment in California which would define marriage as only between a woman and a man;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW expand efforts to work for a feminist space and
    consciousness in LGBT organizations; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage further bridge building between LGBT people and straight allies; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW work to expand feminist consciousness in LGBT communities, including college campuses; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW's Lesbian Rights Conference Implementation Committee work with the National Action Center to create a lesbian feminist consciousness raising program to be used in lesbian communities; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW actively promote the "Ask and I'll Tell" campaign for the October 1999 National Coming Out Day action, including the use of buttons and photo and video displays; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW encourage all levels of NOW to include as an active part of our electoral strategies campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT initiatives, such as initiatives similar to the proposed California constitutional amendment, and other measures to legally define marriage and limit civil rights protections in order to disadvantage and discriminate against LGBT people, wherever and whenever they occur.


    WHEREAS, of women 18-24 years of age in college, statistically, one in four will be raped before graduation; and
    WHEREAS, hundreds of women report rape to campus police to seek justice and are turned away with little or no action taken against their assailants; and
    WHEREAS, the campus police have a vested interest in covering up rapes on campus in order to protect the image of a "safe" campus; and
    WHEREAS, women are often blamed for our assaults and university authorities focus on how women can stop rape (i.e., staying in groups, watching what we drink, where we go, what we wear, etc.) while protecting men who rape us by ignoring sexual harassment and rape on campus; and
    WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is committed to winning women’s liberation in all spheres of our lives, including violence against us; and
    WHEREAS, NOW organizers exposing and ending sexism on campuses across the nation are breaking ground in this struggle;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW include an article on this topic in the next issue of the National NOW Times, working with chapter leaders working on this issue: and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW commit to fighting this injustice occurring on campuses across the United States by organizing around this issue, including but not limited to the following:  1)  networking chapters working in this issue area  2)  including a memo in a membership mailing  3)  providing strategy and fundraising advice  4)  using Internet resources.


    WHEREAS, the 105 hospital "mergers" since 1995, in which Catholic hospitals with bishop-directed policies displaced public hospitals, highlight a growing takeover of public and non-sectarian hospitals and social service agencies by religious organizations and their affiliates; and
    WHEREAS, the refusal of Catholic hospitals to provide any reproductive health care to women, including abortion, sterilization, emergency contraception to rape victims, birth control, information or even referrals highlights the extent to which religious organizations and their affiliates will act in accordance with their own sectarian agendas and beliefs, regardless of the law or human need; and
    WHEREAS, religious organizations and their affiliates cannot be held accountable under local, state or federal laws, including living wage laws, domestic partner ordinances, property and income tax laws, labor and anti-discrimination laws; and
    WHEREAS, a movement deceptively called "charitable choice" is increasingly diverting public funding to religious organizations and their affiliates in spite of their non-accountability and sectarian agendas, which too often include a fundamental hostility to women’s reproductive rights and equality; and
    WHEREAS, women represent a majority of the uninsured and underinsured, and are thus more likely to seek health care and social services from public hospitals and agencies; and
    WHEREAS, women represent a majority of the work ers in the healthcare and social service fields, and are thus more likely to suffer from the lower wages, lesser benefits, and discriminatory workplace practices associated with religious organizations and their affiliates;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) opposes any diversion of public resources to religious organizations and their affiliates that pursue policies and practices inimical to women's equality, rights, and lives; or, in the alternative, be it resolved that any health-related entity which receives any public funds must provide constitutionally protected health services; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW joins our sisters in the National Council for Jewish Women, Catholics for a Free Choice, Hadassah, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the United Methodist Church, the Friends Committee, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and many other groups and organizations in opposing the concept, policy, and implementation of "charitable choice."


    WHEREAS, it is an accepted fact that high quality early childhood education and child care are critical to the development and success of young children; and
    WHEREAS, high quality early childhood education and child care educators are traditionally underpaid and under-appreciated in their roles as mentors of our nation’s children; and
    WHEREAS, complete and comprehensive high quality early childhood education and child care should be a right for all children in this country;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) call for publicly-funded, high quality early childhood education and child care in all communities; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage chapters to raise the issues of public funding and minimum standards for high quality early childhood education and child care programs with all elected officials and candidates in their communities to raise both awareness and create action on the issues; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW call for the implementation of a livable minimum standard of wages for high quality early childhood educators and child care workers, particularly in federally-funded programs.


    WHEREAS, many of the jobs traditionally held by women are paid less than jobs traditionally held by men; and
    WHEREAS, many of the jobs traditionally held by women require skills and training equivalent to the skills and training for jobs traditionally held by men; for example, bookkeeping compared with truck driving, or data entry compared with welding; and
    WHEREAS,  the AFL-CIO is launching a major campaign to pass federal and state pay equity bills; and
    WHEREAS, there have been some attempts in state legislatures to equalize pay with no success;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) undertake a campaign to bring comparable worth/pay equity to the forefront as an economic issue; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center review pending legislation and enter into educational and lobbying efforts to bring an end to this economically unfair situation.


    WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women demonstrates a strong commitment to lesbian rights; and
    WHEREAS, NOW's agenda embraces the rich diversity of issues and experiences that impact women’s lives;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW re-affirms its commitment to a lesbian rights agenda that uses a grassroots strategy to fight bigotry and discrimination based on real or perceived sexual orientation; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution replace the 1980 Delineation of Lesbian Rights.


    WHEREAS, the ongoing "war on drugs and crime" legacy of the Reagan/Bush era has severely and adversely impacted the lives of women and children; and
    WHEREAS, the continuing expansion of law enforcement, correctional, and prison systems has proliferated into exploitative employment and capital ventures, hence, creating a viable “industrial complex” similar to the military-industrial complex; and
    WHEREAS, the increase of public resources allocated to the expansion of this complex in the name of public safety, estimated at a cost of over $40 billion annually by the year 2000, occurs at the expense of other vital social priorities, including education, health care, and violence prevention; and
    WHEREAS, current statistics indicate: 1) over 70% of those in prison are non-violent offenders; 2) people of color, in particular African-Americans, are nearly 10 times as likely to live under some form of criminal justice system control and authority; 3) in the last decade, the female prison population has increased 276%; 4) 78% of women in prison are mothers; 5) the  rate of African-American women under criminal justice control is over twice as much as the increase of white women under criminal justice control or authority; and
    WHEREAS, "tough on crime" public debate concerning the issues of safety, law and order, and crime and punishment continues to be largely dominated by patriarchal and capitalist interests invested in expensive, draconian, and divisive policies versus "smart on crime" policies that are humane, cost-effective and demonstrated measures that account for the larger social, economic, and racial factors which exist in society; and
    WHEREAS, it is crucial that NOW act to prevent the broader victims' rights movement from being co-opted by similar right-wing based interests that perpetuate a focus on increased sanctions for offenders at the expense of needed support for the victims of crime, safe alternatives to incarceration, and viable rehabilitative programs;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) recognizes that the expansion and privatization of this "prison industrial complex" disproportionately consumes public resources that could be allocated to other social, education, and health needs; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW include partners in the prison industrial complex as candidates for the Merchants of Shame initiative; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW identify interested NOW members to compile relevant research and findings related to the impact of prison privatization, "tough on crime" policies, and the budgetary impact of the expanding prison-industrial complex on women and children which identifies opportunities for building coalitions, and promotes "smart on crime" debate and solutions.


    WHEREAS, hate crimes based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion and ethnicity not only harm individual victims but also serve to isolate and control all of the members of the targeted groups by restricting their freedom; and
    WHEREAS, law enforcement officers charged with upholding the law themselves sometimes commit hate crimes;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women launch a campaign to pass the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 1999; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that Valentine's Day be targeted for chapter actions on this issue.


    WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has long supported reproductive freedom as a priority issue; and
    WHEREAS, NOW believes that women should have complete authority over their reproductive lives; and
    WHEREAS, reproductive freedom not only includes the ability to decide whether  or when to bear children, but also the right to devise a birth plan with a medical provider of their choice in either a hospital or an alternative setting such as a freestanding birth center or private residence; and
    WHEREAS, women have historically given birth with midwives; and
    WHEREAS, the practice of midwifery has many benefits including lower costs, lower rates of premature births, higher rates of breastfeeding; and greater satisfaction with the birthing experience; and has been endorsed by the World Health Organization; and
    WHEREAS, midwifery has a lower incidence of medical interventions during the birthing process, including the routine use of episiotomies and Caesarean sections; and
    WHEREAS, women’s access to midwifery and traditional birthing practices many times is limited by restrictive laws and non-coverage by private insurance companies and state-subsidized funding;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW's policy statements, brochures, and fact sheets concerning reproductive freedom include references to birthing choices, safe childbearing practices, midwifery; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW work in cooperation with state and national midwifery organizations to increase women's access to midwifery and community awareness of childbirth, pregnancy, and early parenting choices.


    WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) as the world leader in fighting for the rights of women and their children for over 30 years; and
    WHEREAS, the "Tapestry of Polygamy" is pioneering in the effort to disseminate the information and the realities of the practice of polygamy; and
    WHEREAS, the "Tapestry of Polygamy" focuses on assisting those wishing to flee from the bondage of polygamy;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW in alliance with the "Tapestry of Polygamy" disseminate information on the abuses of polygamy to the general public and legislators; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW advocate to end the human rights violations due to polygamy; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW recognizes and supports the "Tapestry of Polygamy" in its ongoing effort to educate the public and government officials on the needs of families exiting this lifestyle.


    WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is committed to creating a world in which all women and girls are valued, respected and have a public voice; and
    WHEREAS, most TV and radio (commercial, public and cable) programs, films, the World Wide Web and other electronic media continually reinforces the inequalities of women and girls;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW call for a National Day of Action to PULL THE PLUG by not tuning in to any form of sexist, exploitative or oppressive media for one day.  We will contact stations and advertisers to let them know what programming we object to.  We will also voice our support for programming that positively portrays the broad range of diversity of women and includes the involvement of women in all aspects of the media.  The National Action Center will direct national actions on this day, and will provide information to chapters, states, and regions to encourage them to participate.


    WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a statement of purpose which reflects the overall aims of the organization; and
    WHEREAS, the original statement of purpose was adopted in 1966; and
    WHEREAS, the organization, as a body, has expressed a need and desire to revisit our statement of purpose to reflect the changes in society in accordance with the 1998 Vision statement;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the following proposed language alternatives for a revised statement of purpose be considered by all levels and units of NOW between 1999 and voted on as a by-law amendment at the 2000 National Conference in Miami, Florida:
    A) NOW's purpose is to take action toward women's equality, to empower women to determine their own destinies, and to have equal representation in all decision-making structures of our societies.  NOW is committed to the power of grassroots activism, to multi-issue strategies using a variety of tactics to achieve social and economic justice where there is recognition and respect for each person's intrinsic worth as well as the rich diversity of the various groups among us.
    B) The purpose of NOW is to take action to assure a world where all women have political, social, and economic equality, sharing all opportunities, rights, privileges and responsibilities in a fair and just society.
    C) The purpose of NOW is to actively and tirelessly pursue the full inclusion of all women and girls in all political, social, and economic institutions of society, creating a feminist society wherein every individual is free from coercion and subjugation. We organize to initiate, support, implement and maintain all actions necessary toward a free and equal society believing that human beings are born free, equal in dignity and rights, entitling each to all rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind, such as sex, race, class, sexual orientation, religion or other arbitrary status.


    WHEREAS, Title IX was passed by Congress in 1972 prohibiting sex discrimination in any educational program or activity at any educational institution that is a recipient of federal funds; and
    WHEREAS, Title IX prohibits all forms of sex discrimination including sexual harassment, discrimination in admissions and counseling, discrimination against married or pregnant students, etc.; and
    WHEREAS, in 1971, only 1 in 27 girls participated in high school sports and, as a result of Title IX in 1998, 1 in 3 girls participated in high school sports (boys' participation has remained constant at 1 in 2); and
    WHEREAS, there is a direct connection between Title IX and the gold medal success of the USA women’s teams at the most recent Olympic games, the success of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and Women's World Cup Soccer; and
    WHEREAS, California NOW filed suit against the 19-campus California State University system in 1993, resulting in a five year consent decree increasing athletic opportunities for women, and filed Title IX complaints against the University of Southern California and the University of California at Los Angeles in December 1998: and
    WHEREAS, a few schools have decided to drop a small number of men's teams instead of examining the inflated budgets of the men's basketball and football teams (including such expenses as hotel rooms the night before home games); and
    WHEREAS, there is now an organized effort to challenge the implementation of Title IX, including the Stephen Neal, et al. v California State University lawsuit brought because the university put a cap on the men’s wrestling team, eliminating the opportunity of seven male participants. This lawsuit seeks to remove prong one, "proportionality", from the three-prong test used by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to measure effective accommodation of interests and abilities, the "exclusion of revenue-generating sports from a calculus of comparative gender opportunities," and the allowing of private donations earmarked for a particular sport;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) sign on to an amicus brief prepared by the National Women's Law Center opposing the preliminary injunction granted on February 22, 1999; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW challenges this backlash against Title IX with:
    1) INFORMATION:  such as an article in the National NOW Times and briefing materials in a chapter mailing; and
    2) ACTION:  such as the Title IX project approved by the NOW Board in February 1999; and
    3) ACTION:  such as Title IX projects by local chapters and state reviewing Title IX compliance at the high school and community college level; and
    4) ACTION:  such as commending Allstate Insurance for its ads run before and during Women’s   World Cup Soccer showing a multi-cultural group of girls joyfully competing in the sport –  affirming that girls' sports participation is important; and
    5) ACTION:  such as challenging the unequal pay that will be received by the U.S. women's soccer team.  If the U.S. wins, each woman will get a $12,500 bonus from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) – as compared to $380,000 that would have gone to the men, had they won last summer.  USSF Secretary General Hank Steinbrecher blames the FIFA – soccer's world governing body – for passing through bonus money for men but not for women.


    WHEREAS, the United Nations has bestowed the special status of "observer state" on the Vatican; and
    WHEREAS, this special status allows the Vatican to take full part in all United Nations conferences, addressing the body at will; and
    WHEREAS, this special status artificially raises the Vatican's profile in world affairs, serving as a bully pulpit from which they are able to manipulate the media as well as United Nations policies in order to disseminate its sectarian agenda and beliefs; and
    WHEREAS, the Vatican is an all-male hierarchy that opposes the ordination of women, as part of their fundamental belief and policy that men should dominate and control women in every area; and
    WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic Church promotes discrimination based on sexual orientation, as well as discrimination against women; and
    WHEREAS, Catholics for a Free Choice has called upon the United Nations to rescind the special "observer state" status conferred upon the Vatican; and
    WHEREAS, the Vatican has repeatedly and persistently used its privilege as an "observer state" to block reproductive healthcare for women worldwide:  in particular any and all access to family planning information, birth control, sterilization, abortion and access to medical care for women suffering complications from unsafe, illegal abortion; and
    WHEREAS, women's rights and lives worldwide depend on access to a full range of quality, affordable reproductive health services, including family planning information, birth control access, sterilization, abortion, and access to medical care after the unsafe and illegal abortions to which women are driven when all other family planning alternatives are consistently blocked; and
    WHEREAS, its fights against the provision of emergency contraception and information to the women raped in Kosovo, Bosnia, and elsewhere, shows the Vatican's contempt for women’s personal integrity, moral agency, rights and lives on even the most basic humanitarian level;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) supports Catholics for a Free Choice in its efforts to cause the Vatican’s United Nations "observer state" status to be rescinded.


    WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is entering the new millennium and wants to be on the cutting edge of activism; and
    WHEREAS, we must continue to use new innovative technologies to reach diverse communities throughout the country and the world; and
    WHEREAS, with the change of the century we will change the way we communicate with the introduction of the new digital technologies;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW organize the Virtual March for Women's Rights --an online action -- in the year 2000; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Virtual March planning include work to make the Internet accessible to those who do not have access to the information highway.


    WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) abhors and refuses to tolerate sexual harassment or discrimination of any kind; and
    WHEREAS, NOW has created a Women-Friendly Workplace and Campus Campaign to identify corporations who do not have policies and procedures in place to protect and eliminate workplace abuses; and
    WHEREAS, a class action suit against Detroit Edison, Michigan, has been pending since December, 1998; and
    WHEREAS, NOW has attempted to address workplace abuses with Detroit Edison to no avail;
    WHEREAS, with the deregulation of the industry, the people of Detroit and across the nation now have the opportunity to raise their voices against discrimination.
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that in keeping with the Women-Friendly Workplace and Campus Campaign, NOW immediately adds Detroit Edison to the Merchants of Shame list; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the designation of Detroit Edison as a MERCHANT OF SHAME be strategically announced to take full advantage of media coverage and publicity and that this announcement be used to continue to build the overall Women-Friendly Workplace and Campus Campaign.
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourages the National Action Center and all chapters to take direct action in addressing workplace abuses to resolve this pending class action suit, and to further develop and implement women-friendly workplace policies that will protect all employees at Detroit Edison and all other corporations; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW monitor Detroit Edison to insure there is no retaliation against those who act on pending complaints or bring forward actions.


    WHEREAS, the World March of Women in the year 2000 is a huge education and action project involving women's movements around the world; and
    WHEREAS, 70% of the 1.3 billion people who live in abject poverty are women and children; and
    WHEREAS, we live in a world where violence against women is a global reality; and
    WHEREAS, the World March of Women 2000 is marching for the elimination of poverty and violence against women around the world; and
    WHEREAS, there is a call for worldwide actions to demand the global end of poverty and violence; and
    WHEREAS, each country is asked to organize national actions that will reflect their national realities and priorities as well; and
    WHEREAS, over 1,633 groups from 120 countries have committed to be involved in the World March of Women 2000; and
    WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest grassroots feminist organization in the United States;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW commit to organizing a national action in Washington DC in fall of  the year 2000 as part of the World March of Women 2000; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that information kits and action packets concerning the World March of Women 2000 be distributed to NOW chapters.


    WHEREAS, Feminist Expo '96, the first-ever national feminist exposition was co-sponsored by over 300 organizations, including the National Organization for Women (NOW), featured over 250 speakers and drew over 3,000 feminists to Washington, D.C. in February 1996; and
    WHEREAS, Expo 2000 will usher in the new millennium by bringing together women’s groups from every sector of society to show the strength and depth of the feminist movement in the United States and throughout the world; and
    WHEREAS, at Expo 2000 we want to showcase the power of the feminist movement, its ideas and vision for the 21st Century, as well as the diversity of its works, constituencies and accomplishments; and
    WHEREAS, the need for a strong national and global feminist movement has never been greater; and
    WHEREAS, the Feminist Expo 2000 will take place March 31-April 2, 2000, in Baltimore, Maryland, and will precede the Beijing Plus 5 (the United Nations Fourth World Conference plus five years) to be held in New York City; this will enable women in the United States of America and worldwide to prepare for Beijing Plus 5 with global feminist plenary sessions and workshops; and
    WHEREAS, Expo 2000 will include a special Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) CampaignReunion for all of the activists who were part of the historic 1972-1982 ERA Campaign, as well as those who wish they had been;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW co-sponsor the Feminist Expo 2000; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW publicize it in the National NOW Times and on the National NOW web site; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage delegations from chapters, states, and regions to organize to go to the Feminist Expo 2000; and
    BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW spread the word and recruit ERA veterans for the ERA Reunion that will take place during Expo 2000.

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