NOW, a feminist organization founded in 1966, strives for women’s equality in all aspects of life through both education and litigation. This national organization educates masses on feminist issues through twitter, Facebook and their website, NOW.org. Through these outlets, NOW discusses relevant topics and launches events such as National Love Your Body Day (Gullickson). However, they also work to achieve political power by encouraging the progressive vote and providing funding to politicians who support NOW’s four key issues: economic equality, reproductive rights, voter suppression, and marriage equality.
The economic agenda for women is an especially important cause, as women are currently paid 78 cents for every dollar that men make, a figure that is only intensified with racial discrimination, such as that against Latinas and African-Americans. By encouraging the support of Democratic politicians who seek to raise the minimum wage, attain equal pay for equal work, and promote ideas such as paid family leave, NOW strives to achieve economic justice for women. Regarding reproductive rights, NOW supports affordable health care, access to women’s birth control, and the right to an abortion. Not only do these rights afford women proper autonomy over their bodies, but they provide economic justice, as women would not need pay large sums of money for these concerns. Furthermore, NOW strongly believes in the fundamental right to marriage for those in same-sex relationships. Attaining marriage equality is a key issue for feminists and a cause the organization seeks to promote in the upcoming midterm elections.
Due to the abundance of pertinent issues that are at stake, NOW also seeks to limit the recent voting restrictions, such as photo ID requirements, that tend to influence lower class, minority communities. According to Terry O’Neill, president of NOW, “Restrictions on early voting […] hurt minimum wage workers, two-thirds of whom are women, who usually can’t take time off to vote on Election Day.” (O’Neill). Similarly, many women who have recently been married or divorced are unable to vote because their drivers licenses and birth certificates do not match. As Republicans limit the amount of single women who are able to vote, it becomes easier for them to propose and implement legislation that is detrimental to women.
With the mid-term elections coming up this November, NOW is emphasizing the importance of women’s vote in order to achieve a majority in the Senate that is sympathetic to women’s rights. As Terry O’Neill indicated in the title of her most recent article on Huffingtonpost, “Women’s Votes Always Matter — But They Matter More In 2014” (O’Neill). Be sure to vote and encourage your friends and family to do the same, especially if they live in states like North Carolina, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Alaska. Moreover, the National Organization of Women is asking for donations and fundraising consistently throughout the year. To support their cause donate at: http://now.org/more-ways-to-give/
Gullickson, Caitlin. “What Does “love Your Body” Mean to You?” National Organization for Women. N.p., 21 Oct. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
O’Neill, Terry. “Women’s Votes Always Matter — But They Matter More In 2014.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 15 Oct. 2014. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.