NOW Foundation, the non-profit arm of the National Organization for Women, carries out a variety of public education and litigation projects. Included among those – and perhaps the best known – is our Love Your Body Campaign aimed at young women. A prominent aspect of this campaign is the poster contest drawing hundreds of entries each year, with prizes in four categories awarded. The LYB Campaign encourages class discussions about body image and healthy living as well as campus actions that draw attention to the commercial objectification of women’s bodies and the promotion of unhealthy products and practices.
NOW Foundation’s Crisis in Family Courts project features a resource page for women involved in divorce and child custody battles and a downloadable brochure that contains advice about what to expect in court and how best to help protective parents. A periodic newsletter is published which reports on cases where protective mothers have lost custody to abusive former partners and provides recommendations on how to counter judicial bias against women. Much of the Foundation’s work is assisted by the NOW Family Law Ad Hoc Committee.
The Foundation’s Global Feminism activities feature a number of Shadow Reports that the Foundation has prepared and endorsed for submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The reports have covered such issues as gun violence against women, discrimination against women in the workplace and the shackling of pregnant women in prison. The Foundation also worked with the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women in a two year mission to evaluate anti-violence programs in the U.S. and to make recommendations for improvement. The Foundation is assisted by the NOW Global Feminist Issues and Strategies Ad Hoc Committee members in presentations on a variety of women’s issues during the annual meetings of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.
Voter Mobilization efforts by NOW Foundation aim to raise awareness of the importance of women’s participation in the political process and the need to assure access to the ballot box by all eligible voters. The Foundation focuses on such topics as voter registration, voter suppression, feminist values reflected in candidates’ records and positions, and the importance of feminist political leaders who will advocate for economic and social programs that promote equality.
In addition to the above general topics, NOW Foundation has been involved extensively in preparing reports about how the Social Security program can be updated to help women as caregivers as well as improve the retirement security of women with disabilities, women of color and lifetime low-income earners. A long-running project for the Foundation is the campaign to increase public understanding of the value of an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would help assure equal treatment of and equal opportunity for women. Finally, NOW Foundation lends its name to numerous amicus briefs submitted in cases related to equal marriage for same-sex couples, access to abortion care and contraceptives, opposing sex discrimination in education and employment, advocating for access to affordable housing, and preventing violent demonstrations at women’s health clinics, among many other issues.