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The Feminist Chronicles, 1953-1993

Part III - The Early Documents

 


NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN (N.O.W.)

Statement of Purpose

(Adopted at the organizing conference in Washington, D. C, October 29, 1966)

We, men and women, who hereby constitute ourselves as the NationalOrganization for Women, believe that the time has come for a newmovement toward true equality for all women in America, and towarda fully equal partnership of the sexes, as part of the world-widerevolution of human rights now taking place within and beyondour national borders.

The purpose of NOW is to take action to bring women into fullparticipation in the mainstream of American society now, exercisingall the privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equalpartnership with men.

We believe the time has come to move beyond the abstract argument,discussion and symposia over the status and special nature ofwomen which has raged in America in recent years; the time hascome to confront, with concrete action, the conditions that nowprevent women from enjoying the equality of opportunity and freedomof which is their right, as individual Americans, and as humanbeings.

NOW is dedicated to the proposition that women, first and foremost,are human beings, who, like all other people in our society, musthave the chance to develop their fullest human potential. We believethat women can achieve such equality only by accepting to thefull the challenges and responsibilities they share with all otherpeople in our society, as part of the decision-making mainstreamof American political, economic and social life.

We organize to initiate or support action, nationally, or in anypart of this nation, by individuals or organizations, to breakthrough the silken curtain of prejudice and discrimination againstwomen in government, industry, the professions, the churches,the political parties, the judiciary, the labor unions, in education,science, medicine, law, religion and every other field of importancein American society. Enormous changes taking place in our societymake it both possible and urgently necessary to advance the unfinishedrevolution of women toward true equality, now. With a life spanlengthened to nearly 75 years it is no longer either necessaryor possible for women to devote the greater part of their livesto child-rearing; yet childbearing and rearing which continuesto be a most important part of most women's lives-still is usedto justify barring women from equal professional and economicparticipation and advance.

Today's technology has reduced most of the productive chores whichwomen once performed in the home and in mass-production industriesbased upon routine unskilled labor. This same technology has virtuallyeliminated the quality of muscular strength as a criterion forfilling most jobs, while intensifying American industry's needfor creative intelligence. In view of this new industrial revolutioncreated by automation in the mid-twentieth century, women canand must participate in old and new fields of society in fullequality-or become permanent outsiders .

Despite all the talk about the status of American women in recentyears, the actual position of women in the United States has declined,and is declining, to an alarming degree throughout the 1950'sand '60s. Although 46.4% of all American women between the agesof 18 and 65 now work outside the home, the overwhelming majority-75%-arein routine clerical, sales, or factory jobs, or they are householdworkers, cleaning women, hospital attendants. About two-thirdsof Negro women workers are in the lowest paid service occupations.Working women are becoming increasingl-not less-concentrated onthe bottom of the job ladder. As a consequence full-time womenworkers today earn on the average only 60% of what men earn, andthat wage gap has been increasing over the past twenty-five yearsin every major industry group. In 1964, of all women with a yearlyincome, 89% earned under $5,000 a year; half of all full-timeyear round women workers earned less than $3,690; only 1.4% offull- time year round women workers had an annual income of $10,000or more.

Further, with higher education increasingly essential in today'ssociety, too few women are entering and finishing college or goingon to graduate or professional school. Today, women earn onlyone in three of the B.A.'s and M.A.'s granted, and one in tenof the Ph.D.'s .

In all the professions considered of importance to society, andin the executive ranks of industry and government, women are losingground. Where they are present it is only a token handful. Womencomprise less than 1% of federal judges; less than 4% of all lawyers;7% of doctors. Yet women represent 51% of the U.S. population.And, increasingly men are replacing women in the top positionsin secondary and elementary schools, in social work, and in libraries-oncethought to be women's fields.

Official pronouncements of the advance in the status of womenhide not only the reality of this dangerous decline, but the factthat nothing is being done to stop it. The excellent reports ofthe President's Commission on the Status of Women and of the StateCommissions have not been fully implemented. Such Commissionshave power only to advise. They have no power to enforce theirrecommendations; nor have they the freedom to organize Americanwomen and men to press for action on them. The reports of thesecommissions have, however created a basis upon which it is nowpossible to build.

Discrimination in employment on the basis of sex is now prohibitedby federal law, in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.But although nearly one-third of the cases brought before theEqual Employment Opportunity Commission during the first yeardealt with sex discrimination and the proportion is increasingdramatically, the Commission has not made clear its intentionto enforce the law with the same seriousness on behalf of womenas of other victims of discrimination. Many of these cases wereNegro women, who are the victims of the double discriminationof race and sex. Until now, too few women's organizations andofficial spokesmen have been willing to speak out against thesedangers facing women. Too many women have been restrained by thefear of being called "feminist."

There is no civil rights movement to speak for women, as therehas been for Negroes and other victims of discrimination. TheNational Organization for Women must therefore begin to speak.

WE BELIEVE that the power of American law, and the protectionguaranteed by the U. S. Constitution to the civil rights of allindividuals, must be effectively applied and enforced to isolateand remove patterns of sex discrimination, to ensure equalityof opportunity in employment and education, and equality of civiland political rights and responsibilities on behalf of women,as well as for Negroes and other deprived groups.

We realize that women's problems are linked to many broader questionsof social justice; their solution will require concerted actionby many groups. Therefore, convinced that human rights for allare indivisible, we expect to give active support to the commoncause of equal rights for all those who suffer discriminationand deprivation, and we call upon other organizations committedto such goals to support our efforts toward equality for women.

WE DO NOT ACCEPT the token appointment of a few women to high-levelpositions in government and industry as a substitute for a seriouscontinuing effort to recruit and advance women according to theirindividual abilities. To this end, we urge American governmentand industry to mobilize the same resources of ingenuity and commandwith which they have solved problems of far greater difficultythan those now impeding the progress of women.

WE BELIEVE that this nation has a capacity at least as great asother nations, to innovate new social institutions which willenable women to enjoy true equality of opportunity and responsibilityin society, without conflict with their responsibilities as mothersand homemakers. In such innovations, America does not lead theWestern world, but lags by decades behind many European countries.We do not accept the traditional assumption that a woman has tochoose between marriage and motherhood, on the one hand, and seriousparticipation in industry or the professions on the other. Wequestion the present expectation that all normal women will retirefrom job or profession for 10 or 15 years, to devote their fulltime to raising children, only to reenter the job market at arelatively minor level. This in itself, is a deterrent to theaspirations of women, to their acceptance into management or professionaltraining courses, and to the very possibility of equality of opportunityor real choice, for all but a few women. Above all, we rejectthe assumption that these problems are the unique responsibilityof each individual women, rather than a basic social dilemma whichsociety must solve. True equality of opportunity and freedom ofchoice for women requires such practical, and possible innovationsas a nationwide network of child-care center which will make itunnecessary for women to retire completely from society untiltheir children are grown, and national programs to provide retrainingfor women who have chosen to care for their own children full-time.

WE BELIEVE that it is as essential for every girl to be educatedto her full potential of human ability as it is for every boy-withthe knowledge that such education is the key to effective participationin today's economy and that, for a girl as for boy, educationcan only be serious where there is expectation that it be usedin society. We believe that American educators are capable ofdevising means of imparting such expectations to girl students.Moreover, we consider the decline in the proportion of women receivinghigher and professional education to be evidence of discrimination.This discrimination may take the form of quotas against the admissionof women to colleges, and professional schools; lack of encouragementby parents, counselors and educators; denial of loans or fellowships;or the traditional or arbitrary procedures in graduate and professionaltraining geared in terms of men, which inadvertently discriminateagainst women. We believe that the same serious attention mustbe given to high school dropouts who are girls as to boys.

WE REJECT the current assumptions that a man must carry the soleburden of supporting himself, his wife, and family, and that awoman is automatically entitled to lifelong support by a man uponher marriage, or that marriage, home and family are primarilywoman's world and responsibility-hers to dominate-his to support.We believe that a true partnership between the sexes demands adifferent concept of marriage an equitable sharing of the responsibilitiesof home and children and of the economic burdens of their support.We believe that proper recognition should be given to the economicand social value of homemaking and child-care. To these ends wewill seek to open a reexamination of laws and mores governingmarriage and divorce, for we believe that the current state of"half-equality" between the sexes discriminates againstboth men and women, and is the cause of much unnecessary hostilitybetween the sexes.

WE BELIEVE that women must now exercise their political rightsand responsibility as American citizens. They must refuse to besegregated on the basis of sex into separate-and-not-equal ladiesauxiliaries in the political parties, and they must demand representationaccording to their numbers in the regularly constituted part committees-atlocal, state, and national levels-and in the informal power structure,participating fully in the selection of candidates and politicaldecision-making, and running for office themselves.

IN THE INTERESTS OF THE HUMAN DIGNITY OF WOMEN, we will protest,and endeavor to change, the false image of women now prevalentin the mass media, and in the texts, ceremonies, laws, and practicesof our major social institutions. Such images perpetuate contemptfor women by society and by women for themselves. We are similarlyopposed to all policies and practices-in church, state, college,factory, or office-which, in the guise of protectiveness, notonly deny opportunities but also foster in women self-denigration,dependence, and evasion of responsibility, undermine their confidencein their own abilities and foster contempt for women.

NOW WILL HOLD ITSELF INDEPENDENT OF ANY POLITICAL PARTY in orderto mobilize the political power of all women and men intent onour goals. We will strive to ensure that no party, candidate,president, senator, governor, congressman, or any public officialwho betrays or ignores the principle of full equality betweenthe sexes is elected or appointed to office. If it is necessaryto mobilize the votes of men and women who believe in our cause,in order to win for women the final right to be fully free andequal human beings, we so commit ourselves.

WE BELIEVE THAT women will do most to create a new image of womenby acting now, and by speaking out in behalf of their own equality,freedom, and human dignity-not in pleas for special privilege,nor in enmity toward men, who are also victims of the current,half-equality between the sexes-but in an active, self-respectingpartnership with men. By so doing, women will develop confidencein their own ability to determine actively, in partnership withmen, the conditions of their life, their choices, their futureand their society.

 

NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN (N.O.W.)

AN INVITATION TO JOIN - SEPTEMBER, 1966

N.O.W. is a new national organization being formed "To takeaction to bring women into full participation in the mainstreamof American society NOW, assuming all the privileges and responsibilitiesthereof in truly equal partnership with men.

"With so many Americans consciously concerned with full participationof all our citizens and with dramatic progress at many levelsin recent years, the time is ripe for concerted directed nationalaction. The report of the President's Commission on the Statusof Women, "American Women" has laid out a broad fieldof action. Governor's Commissions in virtually every state inthe union have studied or are studying the situation in theirstates and many are working to modernize their laws and practices.An Interdepartmental Committee, advised by the Citizens AdvisoryCouncil on the Status of Women, has responsibility for promotingfull partnership within the federal government. The Civil RightsAct of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the groundof sex, as well as of race, religion or national origin, and theAlabama jury case of 1966, White vs. Crook, brings women underthe "equal protection of the law" as provided in the5th and 14th amendments of the Constitution.

The basis has thus been laid for realizing the democratic Americangoal of full participation and equal partnership for all citizens.We are convinced, however, that only with continuing pressureand action by those most concerned can we assure the gains thatare in sight and prevent the dilution of the goals.

Through its broad range of individual members, N.O.W. will buildupon the work of and cooperate closely with other organizationswith similar goals, action and non-action, private and public,women's organizations and organizations concerned with specificissues and fields of action. N.O.W. will identify areas in whichaction is needed and provide leadership in pursuing appropriatecourses of action.

As an organization of individuals, not delegates or representatives,N.O.W. will be able to act promptly. It will not generally engagein independent research but will act on the basis of informationand recommendations available from status of women commissions,government agencies and specialized organizations. As a private,voluntary, self-selected group it will establish its own proceduresand not be limited in its targets for action or methods of operationby official protocol.

Membership is open to any individual who is committed to our purpose.Initial dues of $5.00 are payable to the Temporary Chairman. Allwho join prior to October 15, 1966, will be charter members andwill participate in organizational and program decisions and inthe election of officers.

 

Temporary Steering Committee

Dr. Kathryn F. Clarenbach, Temporary Chairman

2229 Eton Ridge, Madison, Wisconsin 53705

Miss Dorothy Haener, Michigan

Mrs. Esther Johnson, District of Columbia

Dr. Pauli Murray, New York

Mrs. Inka O'Hanrahan, California

Mrs. Betty Talkington, Iowa

Dr. Caroline Ware, Virginia

NOW's First Election Ballot

Attachment A NOW 10/26/66

Nominees for National Officers and Executive Board l966-67

Chairman of the Board: Kathryn Clarenbach (Wis.)

President: Betty Friedan (N. Y.)

Executive Vice President: Aileen Hernandez (Calif.)*

Vice President: Richard Graham (D.C.)

Secretary-Treasurer: Caroline Davis (Mich.)

Other Board Members:

Boland, Colleen (Ill.)

Conroy, Catherine (Wis. and Ill.)

Degler, Carl (N. Y.)

Drews, Elizabeth (Ore.)

Fox, Muriel (N.Y.)

Furness, Betty (N.Y.)

Haener, Dorothy (Mich.)

Hart, Jane (D.C., Mich.)

Hedgeman, Anna (N.Y.)

Indritz, Phineas (Md., D.C.)

Lewis, Rev. Dean (Pa.)

O'Hanrahan, Inka (Calif.)

Plante, Patricia (N.Y.)

Purvis, Eve (Indiana)**

Roe, Charlotte (N.Y.)

Rossi, Alice (Ill.)

Schletzer, Vera(Minn.)**

Schwartz, Edna (Minn.)**

Simchak, Mora (D.C.)*

*Subject to nominee's acceptance, following effective date of herresignation as Commissioner of EEOC.

** Subject to nominee's acceptance, not yet asked.

 

First Memo to National Board Members

November 29, 1966

MEMO TO: NOW Board Members

FROM: Kathryn F. Clarenbach, Chairman of the Board

By now you have all received a first mailing of materials andknow that NOW is in business. The November 20th Board meetingin New York was well attended (18 members present) and we workedout temporary operating procedures to enable orderly functioninguntil the constitution is redrafted and approved. Minutes of thatmeeting as well as the October 29th and 30th meeting in Washingtonwill be distributed by mail prior to the next Board meeting.

Will each of you please send me a letter of acceptance of yourBoard position? In the informality of getting organized this stepwas by-passed.

In the same letter will you also specify preference of dates ofthe next Board meeting? We agreed in New York to convene nextin Chicago during the week of February 20, 1967. This will bea two-day meeting to consider constitution and task forces. Aswe want to accommodate schedules of the largest number of Boardmembers, will you please indicate at least whether mid-week orweek-end would be possible and which would be preferable. We willnotify you as soon as possible of precise dates and place in Chicago.

At least two weeks prior to the February Board meeting you willreceive a copy of the re-drafted constitution, and a short statementprepared by the temporary convener of each task force indicatingphilosophy, scope and possible implementation. We can all arriveat the meeting on somewhat the same wave length and make the bestuse of our time together.

Task force statements will be prepared by:

Education - Elizabeth Drews

Employment - Dorothy Haener

Legal and Political Rights - Jane Hart

Family Life (Social Innovation) - Sister Mary Joel Read

Poverty - Anna A. Hedgeman

Mass Media Image - Dean Lewis

NOW Membership - Gretchen Squires

Finances - to be assigned

A suggested outline for the brief presentation as been preparedby Sister Mary Joel Read and will go out tomorrow to each of theabove.

The press conference in New York on November 21st was remarkablywell-attended and handled. Muriel Fox and Betty Friedan gave anenormous amount of themselves in setting up the entire weekend.

On Tuesday, November 22nd, the three E.E.O.C. Commissioners receiveda NOW delegation for an hour and a half. Betty Friedan, Anna Hedgeman,Phineas Indritz, Marguerite Rawalt (our legal counsel) and I wereall present. Prior to that Betty Friedan, Jane Hart and I wereinterviewed on television in D.C., and Betty and I had an inspectiontour of our Washington headquarters - Courtesy Services. The HeadquartersCommittee is to be commended in its choice of this service andthe smooth procedure it has set up.

The executive Committee (Betty Friedan, Anna Hedgeman, RichardGraham, Caroline Davis and I) will function between Board meetingsAny steps beyond those which we five have been empowered to takewill be referred to the entire Board. I look forward to receiptof your response regarding Board position and February dates.

Thank you.

 

NOW TASK FORCE ON EDUCATION

(Background Comments of the Substitute Temporary ConvenerHelenSchleman, May 1967)

I. Composition of Task Force - We are dealing in an area whereonly the word of well-known experts gets much attention. It istherefore recommended that every effort be made to recruit a fewwell recognized persons for this group whose recommendations willcarry weight. Suggestion: 1) Rosemary Park, who has spoken outfrankly about women's lack of aspiration to achieve at top levels*,2) Mary Keyserling, whose agency is also on record as believingthat lack of aspiration is a critical factor in women's achievement**,3) John Macy, who recognizes the importance of motivation andof changing fathers' expectation for their daughters***, 4) AliceRossi, who is already active on another task force, but whosereputation for pinpointing needs for fundamental change is suchthat we need her support for any undertakings that focus on thiseffort, 5) Dr. Jean Paul Mather, Executive Vice President of UniversityCity Science Center at Philadelphia Pennsylvania who has appearedon various national programs, speaking of the necessity of usingwomanpower at top levels (e.g., Intercollegiate Associated WomenStudents, National Education Association), and 6) Eli Ginzberg,who is well known for his knowledge of womanpower and who is currentlydirecting a national-scale study being undertaken by a researchgroup of Columbia University. (The study, financed by a $235,000grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is to evaluate counselingin areas of education and employment. It will undoubtedly includestudy of the influences which motivate young girls in junior highschool and high school, were aspirations for high achievementbegin to take form.)1

II. Focus of Immediate Attention: There are undoubtedly many reasonswhy women do not hold influential leadership positions, at highlevels of our national life, in proportion to their numbers inthe populations, or to their numbers in the labor force. Two far-reachingand all-pervading attitudinal factors, however, seem to be amongthe chief culprits; 1) Women's own lack of aspirations to achievelevels commensurate with their intellectual ability and 2) thelimiting sex-oriented self-concept and "other-sex" conceptstaught to young children (and continuously expressed to them asexpectations), which result in traditional ways of thinking aboutwomen by men in decision-making positions (and even make it difficultfor many mature women to achieve a broad, inclusive self-concept)

Attitudes can be changed. It is suggested that the NOW Task Forceon Education focus it efforts 1) on raising the aspirations ofgirls and women at all stages of education and 2) on combatingthe limiting influence of traditional sex-oriented self-conceptsand expectations. This is no under-taking for amateurs. High aspirationmust be preceded by motivation. Motivation in common sense terms,is made up of all of the factors that cause a person to want (toaspire) to do a certain thing, to reach (aspire to) a certaingoal. These factors are legion.

III. Specific Action To Be Undertaken: (Note: It is recognizedthat there will be overlap with the work of other task forces.Obviously, there must be good communication to avoid duplicationof effort. For instance, the work of the Task Force on the MassMedia Image of Women ties in directly in the aspirations and motivationsof junior high school girls, high school girls, and women - notto say the image held by boys and men.) It is suggested that theNOW Education Task Force:

1. Make contact with Dr. Ginzberg regarding his current studyfor the following purposes: 1) to inform him of our interest andconcern in the study as it pertains to the aspirations and motivations,or lack thereof, of girls and women toward high goals of achievement,and 2) to seek his counsel regarding useful steps we as a taskforce might take to raise the aspirations of girls and combatthe traditional, limited self-concept so many of them hold.2.Make contact with junior high school and high school counselorsof both girls and boys to persuade them to try to inspire girlsto aspire to educate themselves to the limit of their intellectualcapacity and then to use their education fully.

2. We should place articles in their professional journals whichwill give specific information about scope of opportunities forboth girls and boys, will discuss the current life-patterns ofwomen and men that both boys and girls need to be familiar with,and will emphasize the importance to girls themselves, as wellas to our whole society and economy, of their aspiring to usetheir full intellectual talents in top-level spots. Counselorsneed very much to adopt a new outlook and set of expectationsfor girls if the girls themselves are to develop higher aspirationsand a new self-concept.3 This is a crucial change that must beemphasized in every way possible.

3. Make contact with school administrators and try to persuadethem of the importance of making successful-outside-the-home,loved and respected women models visible to boys and girls. Urgethem to use them in the school system as well as to bring themin from the outside community to demonstrate that women are expectedto participate at significant levels outside the home.

4. Make contact with parents, PTAs, any way possible to make knownwhat the current situation is and to urge higher expectationsfor their daughters equal to those they hold for their sons

5. Make contact with men's service club. in a variety of ways- through their publications programs, etc., with particular emphasison the father's role in rising the aspirations of his daughterby his own expectations of her.

The ways to effect change of the traditional self-concepts heldby many girls that limit their aspirations are as many and variedas imagination will produce. The same holds for changing the traditionalexpectations held by others for girls and women, We need a workingtask force to agree on limited objectives and specific approaches.

Summary of Proposed Action

It is suggested that NOW name at least 3 or 4 members of the TaskForce on Education at once to begin work in the areas indicated.

A. Specific objectives: 1) raise the aspirations of girls and womenat all stages of education and 2) combat the limiting influenceof traditional sex-oriented self-concepts and expectations

B. Some specific action programs:

1. Make contact with Dr. Ginzberg. . . .

2. Make contact with junior high school and high school counselors.. . .

3. Make contact with school administrators. . . .

4. Make contact with parents, PTAs. . . .

5. Make contact with men's service club. . . .

* "On the subject of women's education, Rosemary Park, inher final report as president of Barnard College, declared thatthe traditional lack of scope in women's aspirations is the factormost responsible for their absence in posts of leadership."(From Intercollegiate Press Bulletin; Vol. 31, #35, May 1, 1967.)

** "An important part of the answer to the disparity in women'seducational attainment and earnings lies in the goals and aspirationsof these women when they were girls." (U.S. Department ofLabor, Women's Bureau, April l, 1967, WB67-281)

*** "This educational fallout is due largely to lack of motivation,but a negative attitude on the part of parents toward collegefor their daughters is an influential factor. I think that fathersare especially responsible in this. Fathers, in particular, needto abandon the assumption that their daughters really cannot learnmath, or that it's not quite feminine to major in physics or chemistry,or that the engineering degree is strictly a male degree."(John W. Macy, Jr., "Unless We Begin Now," Vital Speechesof the Day, p. 680, September 1, 1966. Paper delivered at Atlanta,Georgia, July 25, 1966.)

1 School and Society, Vol. 95, p. 286. Summer 1967. Columbia UniversityStudy.

2 "Women also encounter manipulative counseling. 'A counselorwill tell a woman that it really doesn't matter what she studiesin college because she will get married and won't have to work.But studies show this is not true.'" Eli Ginzberg, "Study of Education and Job Counseling." School and Society, Vol.95, p. 286. Summer, 1967. Columbia University study.)

 

TASK FORCE ON WOMEN IN POVERTY

(Task Force Report-1967)

A. We start with a concern for the plight of women who now livein poverty.The most serious victims of sex-discrimination in thiscountry are the women at the bottom, including those who, unsupported,head a great percentage of families in poverty; those women whowork at low-paying, marginal jobs, or who cannot find work; andthe seriously increasing number of high school dropouts who aregirls. No adequate attention is being given to these women byany of the existing poverty programs.

B. N.O.W. will work to insure that all federal poverty-relatedprograms, including the Job Corps and the MDTA, shall be administeredwithout discrimination on the basis of sex and shall provide serioustraining for disadvantaged girls and women, as well as boys andmen, in order that they may take a rewarding and productive rolein society. We will fight the current practice of ignoring womenand girls in such government programs; of providing them withtraining, under the M.D.T.A. of only the beauty care or unskilledclerical sort that is not geared to the future or even to thehope of adequate pay.

C. Our concern with these problems leaves us to seek broader andmore meaningful expansion of economic opportunities. There cannotbe significant opportunities for women (especially those "atthe bottom of the heap") unless there is room for them tomove into. We cannot simply ask that women enter fierce competitionfor scarce opportunities, setting one group against another. Thepoverty program has brought to light serious inadequacies andthe patchwork quality of some of the present approaches to jobtraining, job creation, education for potential jobs, the lackof regional and city planning, the failure to identify and utilizethe already existing experiences of women as well as men for whomthe program is intended. Furthermore, full employment is essentialto any decent plan for economic development that will meet theneeds of all women. `This fact is especially true for women inpoverty. We see the need for job innovation at every level ofemployment in which women are concentrated. Already existing skillsof women (home nursing, teachers aides, day care and recreationwork, foster parents, etc.) can be utilized to meet unmet needsin the areas of education and many other social services, includingrewarding employment.

 

Submitted by: Dr. Anna Arnold Hedgeman, Chairman

 

TASK FORCE ON LEGAL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS

(1967)

Goals:

*A campaign for women to assume equal rights and responsibilitiesas American citizens, including full participation in politicaldecision- making in the power structure of the political parties,in the selection of candidates and the formation of national policy,in the holding of public office, and in service to the nation,including military service and jury service.

*A campaign for the abolition of ladies' auxiliaries and any otherseparate-but-not-equal organizations which segregate women, orother forms of "special" representation of women, outsidethe decision-making mainstream in the Republican, Democratic orany other political party.

*A campaign to get women to run for political office and to runfor membership in the regularly constituted party committees onall levels -local, state and national-and to seek assignmentson committees concerned with all aspects of government - space,finance, and urban affairs-refusing to be segregated as "Chairmanof Women's Division," or to be restricted to the kind ofhealth and welfare post considered traditionally more suitablefor women. On all other political issues, we may be quite dividedamong ourselves, nor will we campaign to elect any woman justbecause she is a woman-but we will campaign to support a woman,or man who actively fights for our basic interests, and to defeatany man or woman who betrays our interests, or gives mere lipservice.

*We will do our best to awaken in the largest possible numberof American voters an awareness of the basic interest of women'sunfinished equality, and a candidate's record on it, as burningas we already know it to be in ourselves.

*Support federal civil rights legislation in 1967 which includesprovisions prohibiting any distinction based on sex in selectionof federal and state juries.

*Support and encourage women seeking to invoke their right toequal protection of the law under the United States Constitution,without discrimination based on sex, particularly in fields suchas public employment, public education, laws and official practiceswhich deny equal opportunity to women.

ACTION, FOLLOW THROUGH:

The continuing duty of the task force on legal and Political Rights

1. Review treatment of men and women in regard to their legaland political rights at the municipal, state and federal level.

2. Present the results of the review to the national executivecommittee of NOW for evaluation and plans for appropriate action.

Evidence of progress towards the stated goals of NOW should begiven equal attention and credit should be given to appropriateauthorities.

In 1963, it was noted in the Report of the Committee on Civiland Political Rights to the Presidents' Commission on the Statusof Women that the bulk of the subject matter of this Task Forceis in the jurisdiction of the State Legislatures. Therefore, membersof the Task Force on the state level should accumulate and channelinformation from as many sources as are available to the nationalexecutive committee of NOW. That committee should plan appropriateaction which can be effected through mobilization of all the membersin the state in question.

The nature of the information to which the task force should addressitself should include state laws and city ordinances which treatwomen differently from men in a manner wholly untenable in thelight of present day multiple activities for which women are entirelyqualified.

It is strongly advised that a realistic attitude be adopted inthe matter of changing state and local laws to meet the goalsof NOW. Our laws are expressions of cultural patterns which areno longer acceptable to us. Changing them, however, may requirea great deal of time during which a process of education proceeds.This serves to change the pattern and, in turn, builds pressurethat finally achieves the goal.

Political Rights

Evidence indicates that a poor percentage of eligible women votersactually do vote. The task force should update the data on thissubject, (obligations and rights should balance). Further, theTask Force should investigate the status and treatment of womenwithin State Political Party organizations. State Party policyis usually reflected at the local level. Determine the degreeto which the political party utilizes women at the policy level.The pattern in both major parties has been male chairmen and femalevice-chairmen. This is a device which serves to structure thedivision and stereotype the activities of women within the partystructure. If possible it would be useful to determine the ratioof financial contributions of male and female who are active ina party organization on a percentage basis.

Greater participation within the party structure will producemore party activists, candidates for office and voters.

Submitted by: Mrs. Janey Hart, Chairman

 

TASK FORCE ON EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IN EMPLOYMENT

(1967)

GOALS:

A campaign for rigorous enforcement of Title VII of the CivilRights Act of 1964, which will insist that all the tools of thelaw proved effective in eliminating racial discrimination be appliedto the elimination of discrimination on the basis of sex in privateemployment.

1. Demand immediate amendment of the federal Executive Order No.11246, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in governmentemployment, and in employment under government contract.

2. Active encouragement and assistance to women in bringing complaintsagainst sex discrimination, under federal and state equal employmentopportunity laws.

3. A campaign for enactment, in all states, of the model statecivil rights act which includes a prohibition against employmentdiscrimination based on sex. 4. Reexamination of the so-calledstate protective laws with the goal of extending to men the protectionsthat are genuinely needed; and of the abolition of those obsoleterestrictions that today operated to the economic disadvantageof women by depriving them of equal opportunity.

5. Assistance to women in any industry or profession in the organizationof conferences or demonstrations to protest policies of(or?) conditionswhich discriminate against them; to open avenues of advancementto the decision-making power structure from which they are nowbarred, whether it be from executive training courses, the mainline of promotion that leads to corporate presidencies or fullprofessorships, or the road to union leadership.

6. A campaign to open new avenues of upgrading and on-the-jobtraining for women now segregated in dead-end clerical, secretarial,and menial jobs in government, industry, hospitals, factoriesand offices - providing them training in new technological skills,equally with men, and new means of access to administrative andprofessional levels.

7. A campaign to eliminate, by federal and state law, discriminationon the basis of maternity - providing paid maternity leave asa form of social security for all working mothers, and the rightto return to her job.

8. A campaign to permit the deduction of full child care expenses in income taxes of working parents.

9. A campaign against age discrimination, which operates as a particularly serious handicap for women reentering the labor market after rearing children, and which is imbued with the denigrating image of women viewed solely as sex objects in instances such as the forcing of airline stewardesses to resign before the age of 32.

10. Urge enactment of equal pay legislation applicable to all public and private employment.

11. Drafting and enactment of a model state labor standards law to protect health and economic well being of all workers, male and female.

12. Urge prompt appointment of the full number (5) of Commissioners of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission authorized by the law. Support the appointment of persons to the Commission and to its top staff, who are committed to full enforcement of the law and who are dedicated to implementing the provisions against all prohibited forms of discrimination.

13. Demand replacement of the EEOC guideline on employment advertisements, which affirmatively permit discrimination based on sex with a guideline prohibiting such discriminatory job advertisements.

14. Support federal legislation to strengthen the authority of the EEOC to effectively implement equal employment opportunity in private employment and to extend the prohibitions against discrimination to public employment.

ACTION, FOLLOW THROUGH:

Recommendations of the Equal Opportunity in Employment task force were embodied in NOW letters to the President, EEOC Chairman and Attorney General and head of civil service commission; subsequent delegations to Washington and letters in behalf of the airline stewardesses will be sought to obtain cooperation between various government agencies in implementing laws to eliminate discrimination, such as the President's Committee on Government Contracts, EEOC, Manpower Training and Redevelopment Act, Wage & Hour Division, State Employment Commissions, etc.

Authorization given to the Legal Committee to file an amicus brief or otherwise assist the plaintiffs in the Mengelkoch case, and that the Committee also watch other sex discrimination cases with a view to entering amicus briefs where the Legal Committee deems it desirable.A Brief was filed with the EEOC urging them to reconsider and change their earlier guidelines authorizing male and female help-wanted ads.

Submitted by: Dorothy Haener, Chairman