About Texas NOW
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
NOW's purpose is to take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now, exercising all privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men. This purpose includes, but is not limited to, equal rights and responsibilities in all aspects of citizenship, public service, employment, education, and family life, and it includes freedom from discrimination because of race, ethnic origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or parenthood.
What does NOW do?
NOW strives to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the work-place, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism, and homophobia; promote equality and justice in our society.
NOW achieves its goals through direct mass actions (including marches, rallies, pickets, counter-demonstrations, and non-violent civil disobedience), intensive lobbying, grassroots political organizing, and litigation.
Texas NOW works to achieve all these rights at the state level. We lobby the state legislature, co-sponsor direct actions like Equal Pay Day, have a state conference every year, and support local chapters. We also work in coalition with partners like People for the American Way, Equality Texas, Texas Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, and NARAL Pro-Choice Texas.
NOW's official priorities are:
- pressing for an amendment to guarantee equal rights for women;
- achieving economic equality for women;
- championing reproductive freedom and women's health issues;
- supporting civil rights for all and opposing racism;
- ending discrimination against GLBT people;
- ending violence against women.
NOW's Current Major Actions include...
- Defending and championing reproductive freedom
- Preparing for elections: 2006 and beyond
- Advocating for safety and justice for the women of Juarez
- Controlling our own image and message
- Working to end violence against women and other hate crimes
- Demanding women-friendly workplaces and campuses
- Promoting women's health and positive self-image through programs like Love Your Body Day
- Advocating lesbian rights as women's rights
- Eliminating racism and promoting diversity
- Welcoming and cultivating the Third Wave
- Standing up for affirmative action
- Fighting for economic justice
- Pressing for Constitutional equality
But this is the new millennium! Why are we still fighting for equality? Haven’t we won yet?
Long story short, no. Consider these situations that many women find themselves in every day:
- You're a sales manager for a TV chain's local affiliate. You know you're making $10,000 a year less than a man with the same job in a similar-sized market.
- You're trying to juggle the demands of raising your toddlers and the constant stress of your critical care nursing job. Your husband mows the lawn and takes out the trash once a week, while you cook every day, clean the house, and do laundry for your family of four. You are tired all the time and want to ask for help, but he works, too, and you don't know how to start the conversation.
- You're a college student who was raped on a date with a guy you thought you could trust. You don't know who you can tell, you feel scared and alone, and your grades are slipping.
- You leave your marriage after 11 years of physical and emotional abuse. You work double shifts to support your kids, but then a heart attack with no health insurance forces you onto welfare.
- You're a lesbian who feels isolated. But you're afraid that if you come out to your family, you'll lose custody of your kids.
- You finally launched a new ad agency owned and staffed by African-American women. Business is booming, and you want to expand. But when you go to the bank for a loan, they explain that you don't meet their criteria - and they won't tell you what those criteria are.
- You got laid off in the latest round of cutbacks. You have a chronic condition which requires regular medical care. You can't afford your COBRA payments. And because your partner is also a woman and her company doesn't provide domestic partner benefits, she can't add you to her health insurance.
We've come a long way, but we're not there yet. Please join NOW and help us achieve equality!