Friday, June 30, 2017
NOW, MORE THAN EVER
Betty Friedan, the author of The Feminine Mystique, became the first President of NOW. Stalwarts like Shirley Chisholm and Anna Roosevelt Halstead were among the twenty-eight founders, along with Ada Allness, Mary Evelyn Benbow, Gene Boyer, Analoyce Clapp, Kathryn Clarenbach, Catherine Conroy, Caroline Davis, Mary Eastwood, Edith Finlayson, Dorothy Haener, Lorene Harrington, Mary Lou Hill, Esther Johnson, Nancy Knaak, Min Matheson, Helen Moreland, Pauli Murray, Ruth Murray, Inka O'Hanrahan, Pauline Parish, Eve Purvis, Edna Schwartz, Mary-jane Ryan Snyder, Gretchen Squires, Betty Talkington, and Carolyn Ware.
Today there are 550,000 members of NOW in 550 local chapters.
Although the Equal Employment Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were meant to guarantee equality for women, the reality was far different. NOW has continued the battle to protect reproductive rights, the Equal Rights Amendment, equality in hiring and promotions, in lending and credit practices, maternity leave, child-care, access to college and graduate schools, equity in athletics, and elective office.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE from 1966
"We, men and women who hereby constitute ourselves as the National Organization For Women, believe that the partnership of the sexes, as part of the world-wide revolution of human rights, now taking part within and beyond our national borders."