The National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) is spearheading efforts to open up the male-only Augusta National Golf Club to women, most recently planning to target sponsors of the Professional Golf Association (PGA) to encourage Augusta National to change its membership policy, Associated Press reports. Augusta National is the site of the Masters golf tournament, a sanctioned event by the PGA Tour, though the PGA does not own or run the Masters. The NCWO, under the leadership of chair Martha Burk, argues that by sanctioning an event that is held at a club that practices such blatant discrimination, the PGA is violating its own anti-discrimination policies, according to the Washington Times.
The NCWO previously sent a letter to prominent members of the prestigious club asking them to urge Augusta National to admit women into the club. To date, four members have openly expressed their support for including women in the club’s membership, most recently Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive of American Express. Other prominent supporters include Citigroup chair Sanford Weill and Lloyd Ward, the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee and former president of Ford Motor Company, according to AP. Ward is one of the few African-American members of the club, which did not open its membership to African-Americans until 1990.
The Feminist Majority is a member of NCWO, along with 160 other groups making the total membership close to seven million.