National Organization for Women

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The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest American feminist organisation. It is a Jewish organization, but not an openly Jewish one.



NOW was founded on the 30th of June 1966 in Washington, D.C. by Betty Friedan (alias Naomi Goldstein), the first president of the organisation.

In 1970 the organization engaged itself for a so-called Equal Rights Amendment into the US constitution, which should guarantee an entire legal equalization of man and woman.

At the meeting on the 23rd of July, 1989 in Cincinnati (Ohio) the two-party system of the USA was discussed and questioned. They discussed the installation of a third party. Result was an explanation to the political independence of the woman ("Declaration of Women's Political Independence").

A board of inquiry to additions to the US-American constitution was founded. These additions should contain freedom of sexual discrimination and the right on a moderate standard of living, the right to clean air and clean water and environment protection, the right of freedom of acts of violence. Of the commission the former NOW president Eleanor Smeal projected. NOW a commission had furnished one month before it for an accountable democracy ("Commission for Responsive Democracy").

Till this day the organisation works on legislation measures for women's rights and media representations of women's subjects.

Present main focuses of NOW are the removal of discrimination and nuisance in the job, at school, in the judicial system and all other areas of the society, sure abortion, birth control and rights to the self-determination also for reproduction, against all forms of violence against women, the excision of „sexism“, „racism“, „homophobia“ and the support of „equal rights and justice in the society“.

Foundation members[1]


President[2] Time
Betty Friedan 1966–1970
Aileen Hernandez 1970–1971
Wilma Scott Heide 1971–1974
Karen DeCrow 1974–1977
Eleanor Smeal 1977–1982
Judy Goldsmith 1982–1985
Eleanor Smeal 1985–1987
Molly Yard 1987–1991
Patricia Ireland 1991–2001
Kim Gandy 2001–2009
Terry O'Neill (2009– )


Today according to own information of NOW it has 550,000 paying members in all US federal states. From the outset the membership was also open for men. Other members: Ti-Grace Atkinson, Ernesta Drinker Ballard, Rita Mae Brown, Mary Daly, Warren Farrell, Caroline Davis, to cirques DeCrow, Rosemary Dempsey, Sonia Pressman Fuentes, Kim Gandy, Shere Hite, Florynce "Flo" Kennedy, Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin, Kate Millett, Virginia "Ginny" Montes, Irma Newmark, Sylvia Roberts, Barbara Seaman, and Jean Witter.


Warren Farrell was chosen in the 1970s as the only man three times in the New York board of directors of the organisation. Later Farrell laid in his books "„Why men are in such a way like they are“" (1986) and "„myth of man's power“" (1993) as the feminism interpreted the gender relations very unilaterally in favour of the women, while from female faint experiences on supposed power of the men was closed and, however, male faint experiences remained systematically faded out.



  1. Honoring Our Founders
  2. Celebrating Our Presidents
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