Eleanor Smeal

President of the Feminist Majority and the Feminist Majority Foundation

As Co-Founder and President of the Feminist Majority Foundation and former President of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Eleanor Smeal has led efforts for the economic, political, and social equality and empowerment of women worldwide for over four decades. She has been an activist leader in the passage of landmark legislation, such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Equal Credit Act, Civil Rights Restoration Act, Violence Against Women Act, and Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. Smeal also led the fight for the U.S. ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (from 1977-1982). Never giving up the dream of constitutional equality for women, Smeal is currently helping to spearhead the renewal of efforts to pass the ERA. 

Known as a political analyst, strategist, and grassroots organizer, Smeal has played a pivotal role in defining the debate, developing the strategies, and charting the direction of the modern day women’s movement. She was the first to identify the “gender gap” – the difference in the way women and men vote – and popularized its usage in election and polling analyses to enhance women’s voting clout. In October 2015, Smeal and her achievements were honored as she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

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