Issues

The six priority issues supported by the chapter are:

Economic Justice

The rise of extreme economic inequality is a serious blow to the fight against gender inequality and a threat to women’s rights. Women’s economic empowerment has the potential to transform many women’s lives for the better and support economic growth. However, unless the causes of extreme economic inequality are urgently addressed, the
majority of the benefits of women-driven growth will accrue to those already at the top of the economy. NOW advocates for wide range of economic justice issues affecting women, to include: welfare reform, livable wages, job discrimination, pay equity, housing, social security and pension reform, and much more.

Advancing Reproductive Freedom

Reproductive freedom lies at the heart of the promise of human dignity, self-determination and equality embodied in both the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We advocate reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right that all governments are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill. We envision a world where every woman is free to decide whether and when to have children; where every woman has access to the best reproductive healthcare available; where every woman can exercise her choices without coercion or discrimination.

 

Lesbian and Transgender Women’s Rights

We believe in empowerment by accepting, celebrating, and supporting women with different sexualities and sexual identities.But, the impact of violence against lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women goes beyond the immediate effects of physical attacks. Lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women face discrimination and criminalization in a variety of settings such as laws, healthcare, education and housing. We advocate for laws and policies that will protect everyone’s dignity so we can live in a world where ALL people can enjoy their rights fully and freely.

 

Stopping Violence Against Women

Violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence – are major public health problems and violations of women’s human rights. Violence against women goes beyond class and culture. It is the primary cause driving women into economic dependence and it has long-term, inter-generational effects on children who witness the abuse. The U.S. Congress has passed two main laws related to violence against women, the Violence Against Women Act and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act. It created new punishments for certain crimes and started programs to prevent violence and help victims. We support these laws and work to help government agencies and victim advocates continue to fight domestic violence, sexual assault, and other types of violence against women.

 

Promoting Diversity and Ending Racism

NOW condemns the racism that inflicts a double burden of race and sex discrimination on women of color. Racism harms all people by devaluing and separating them from each other. It denies people of color equal access to benefits, privileges, and power, while providing whites with greater access to opportunities in many aspects of life. 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.

 

Achieving Constitutional Equality

Equality in pay, job opportunities, political structure, social security and education will remain an elusive dream without a guarantee of equality in the U.S. Constitution. The progress we have made — and must continue to make — 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. Although we did not succeed in ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, winning a constitutional guarantee of equality for women remains one of NOW’s top priorities.