Thursday, May 26, 2005

NOW Bill of Rights/Demands Issued At First National Conference in 1967

As I said in the previous post, I'm posting a copy of this historical document because feminist history is really really important and because this is as good a time as any to think about how many of the Rights that feminists demanded in 1967, have actually been obtained in 2005.

Now [National Organization for Women] Bill of Rights
Adopted at NOW’s first national conference, Washington, D. C., 1967



I. That the US Congress immediately pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution to provide that “Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,” and that such then be immediately ratified by the several states.

II. That equal employment opportunity be guaranteed to all women, as well as men, by insisting that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces the prohibition against racial discrimination.

III. That women be protected by law to ensure their rights to return to their jobs within a reasonable time after childbirth without loss of seniority or other accrued benefits, and be paid maternity leave as a form of social security and/or employee benefits.

IV. Immediate revision of tax laws to permit the deduction of home and childcare expenses for working parents.

V. That childcare facilities be established by law on the same basis as parks, libraries, and public schools, adequate to the needs of children from the pre-school years through adolescence, as a community resource to be used by all citizens from all income levels.

VI. That the right of women to be educated to their full potential equally with men be secured by Federal and State legislation, eliminating all discrimination and segregation by sex, written and unwritten, at all levels of education, including colleges, graduate and professional schools, loans and fellowships, and Federal and State training programs such as the Jobs Corps.

VII. The right of women in poverty to secure job training, housing, and family allowances on equal terms with men, but without prejudice to a parent’s right to remain at home to care for his or her children; revision of welfare legislation and poverty programs which deny women dignity, privacy, and self-respect.

VIII. The right of women to control their own reproductive lives by removing from the penal code laws limiting access to contraceptive information and devices, and by repealing penal laws governing abortion.

From: Sisterhood Is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women’s Liberation Movement, ed. Robin Morgan, 1970. New York: Random House, p. 512-14. (see sidebar if you'd like to own this classic feminist text. Note it is dirt cheap, and what does that say?)

Note: This may be online somewhere, but this is a copy I typed out a few years back.