National Organization for Women (NOW) Summary

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The largest feminist organization in the United States, NOW aims primarily to eliminate sexism and all oppression of women.

NOW was established on June 30, 1966, in Washington, D.C., by women attending the Third National Conference of the Commission on the Status of Women. The organization hopes to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society in a truly equal partnership with men. NOW achieves its goals through intensive lobbying in Congress, mass marches and rallies, grassroots political organizing, and litigation, including class-action lawsuits. Through its Legal Defense Fund, NOW plays a role in many of the gender-related cases that come before the Supreme Court.Gender issuesGender issuesDiscrimination, sex

In the 1970’s NOW launched a nationwide campaign to secure passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Although the proposed amendment ultimately failed to be ratified, NOW succeeded in its efforts to extend the time limit for ratification by more than three years. NOW’s independent Elect Women for a Change campaign in the 1992 and 1996 elections sent an unprecedented number of feminist women and men to the U.S. Congress and state capitals. With this strong backing, NOW continues its work toward the constitutional equality of women, largely through litigation before the Court.


Gay and lesbian rights

Pregnancy, disability, and maternity leaves

Race and discrimination

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