Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
Women are still not guaranteed equal rights under the U.S. Constitution. NOW has made ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) a top priority because equality in pay, job opportunities, political structure, education, health care, including reproductive health care, and education will remain elusive without a guarantee in the U.S. Constitution. An ERA would also make it significantly more difficult to roll back progress on women’s equality: an acute concern in our current political climate. NOW supports an intersectional interpretation of the ERA that uplifts the needs of all women including immigrant women, low-income women, women of color, women with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community.
Reproductive Rights and Justice
Reproductive justice has been the cornerstone of NOW’s activism for over 50 years. Today, extremist politicians continue to use underhanded tactics to limit access to affordable reproductive healthcare for millions of women. These restrictions disproportionately affect low income women, rural women, women of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. NOW activists are committed to pushing back against threats to reproductive justice like the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal attempts, TRAP laws, abortion bans, and birth control rollbacks. NOW affirms that reproductive justice is an issue of life and death for women, not just a matter of choice.
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 advocates for a wide range of economic justice issues affecting women, from the glass ceiling to the sticky floor of poverty. These include welfare reform, livable wages, job discrimination, pay equity, housing, social security and pension reform, and much more. Equal Pay Day is an important focus for NOW activism.
Ending Violence Against Women
NOW is unique in its approach to the issue of violence against women, emphasizing that there are many interrelated aspects to the issue — domestic violence; sexual assault; sexual harassment; violence at abortion clinics; hate crimes across lines of gender, sexuality and race; the gender bias in our judicial system that further victimizes survivors of violence; and the violence of poverty emphasized by the radical right’s attacks on poor women and children — all of which result from society’s attitudes toward women and efforts to “keep women in their place.”
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 LGBTQ+ individuals to live their lives with dignity and security, and marriage equality for all.
Other Important Issues
Supporting Title IX in our schools
Electing Feminists to Office
Advancing Voting Rights
Protecting Immigrant Rights
Ending Sex Trafficking and the Criminalization of Trauma
Promoting the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)