|NOW is a proud supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment and prioritizes Constitutional equality in our work. We are closer than ever to having the ERA enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, giving women explicit protections in our nation’s highest law. The progress we are making towards women’s equality can be lost at any time because those advances depend on legislation that can be (and has been) weakened or repealed by Congress.
Women were deliberately left out of the U.S. Constitution as they were not recognized as full citizens in 1787 and even today, centuries after it was enacted, the Constitution does not fully prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. Sex is not held to the same strict standard as race and religion in the eyes of the law, making it harder for women in court to prove complaints of bias or unequal treatment. That is why the Equal Rights Amendment must be added to the Constitution.
Reproductive Rights and Justice
|NOW is working toward accessible reproductive health care for all women and LGBTQIA+ people. NOW fully supports safe and legal abortion, affordable and effective birth control and other contraception, medication abortion, telemedicine for reproductive care, and reproductive health education for all. We fiercely oppose attempts to restrict reproductive freedom through underhanded legislation and regulations.
|As one of our core issues, NOW is committed to ending racism and discrimination. Through our work, we are constantly identifying and combating the barriers to equality and justice imposed by structural racism, particularly those that inflict a double burden of race and sex discrimination on BIPOC women and girls, including trans women and girls.
As champions of equal opportunities in all areas, including employment, education and reproductive rights, we recognize that racial justice is a feminist issue and that to achieve equality, our activism must be anti-racist.
NOW activists have taken to the streets to demand that the police, the government, the media and our society finally recognize that BLACK LIVES MATTER. We know that for too long, Black women and girls (including transwomen) have been made to feel devalued, silenced, and held to different standards. Having a thriving and free civil society is fundamental for human rights, and NOW is committed to ensuring that historically excluded communities of color have the freedom to participate at every level.
NOW believes that the lives lost due to our unjust system matter, and we will not stop raising our voices until we see justice.
NOW condemns the racism that inflicts a double burden of race and sex discrimination on women of color. Seeing human rights as indivisible, we are committed to identifying and fighting against those barriers to equality and justice that are imposed by racism. A leader in the struggle for civil rights since its inception in 1966, NOW is committed to diversifying our movement, and we continue to fight for equal opportunities for women of color in all areas including employment, education and reproductive rights. NOW’s Combatting Racism Committee is working to encourage growth at all levels within NOW of multiracial task forces to combat racism.
|NOW is committed to fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in all areas, including employment, housing, public accommodations, health services, child custody and military policies. NOW is committed to educational efforts that combat the adverse effects of homophobia, promote positive images in the media and ultimately ensure civil rights protection for all. NOW asserts the right of LGBTQIA individuals to live their lives with dignity and security, and marriage equality for all.
Ending Violence Against Women
|NOW recognizes violence against women as the broad and interconnected issue that it is. Violence against women manifests in many ways – domestic violence; sexual assault and harassment; abortion clinic violence; hate crimes motivated by gender, sexual orientation and race – and is perpetuated through the gender bias in our judicial system and systems of economic oppression. Our work to end violence against women seeks to address these structural problems in our nation and also challenge society’s attitudes toward women, both of which limit women’s freedom and agency.
|NOW advocates for a wide range of economic justice issues, all of which limit women’s freedom and success. These include welfare reform, livable wages, paid sick leave, job discrimination, pay equity, financial literacy, and more. We know that these issues impact women of color at much higher rates and that economic justice is intertwined with racial justice, reproductive freedom, and our other core issues.