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National Organization for Women

  • By: Veronica I. Arreola
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The National Organization for Women (NOW) was established in 1966 as a reaction to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's lack of enforcement of antidiscrimination laws. In the original statement of purpose, the purpose of NOW was “to take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now, exercising all the privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men.”

The role of motherhood in American society was central to the beliefs of the founding mothers of NOW, which reads in part:

We believe that this nation has a capacity at least as great as other nations, to innovate new social institutions which will enable women to enjoy the true equality of opportunity and responsibility in society, without conflict with ...

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