What is NOW?
NOW stands for the National Organization for Women. NOW is dedicated to making legal, political, social and economic change in our society in order to achieve our goal, which is to eliminate sexism and end all oppression. NOW was established on June 30, 1966 in Washington, D.C., by people attending the Third National Conference of the Commission on the Status of Women. Among NOW’s 28 founders was its first president, Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique ). Another founder, the late Rev. Pauli Murray, the first African-American woman Episcopal priest, co-authored NOW’s original Statement of Purpose which begins:
“The purpose of NOW 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.”
The purpose of NOW 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.
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. Since its founding in 1966, NOW’s goal has been “to take action” to bring about equality for all women. Both the actions NOW takes and its position on the issues are often unorthodox, uncompromising and ahead of their time.
NOW was established as a major force in the sweeping changes that put more women in political posts; increased educational, employment and business opportunities for women; and enacted tougher laws against violence, harassment and discrimination. NOW’s official priorities are winning economic equality and securing it with an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will guarantee equal rights for women; championing abortion rights, reproductive freedom and other women’s health issues; opposing racism and fighting bigotry against lesbians and gays; and ending violence against women.
Chicago NOW Mission Statement
The mission of the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women is to be Chicago’s feminist resource in the areas of economic equity, women’s health, reproductive freedom, ending violence against women, and LGBTQ rights. In addition, Chicago NOW takes action through several key projects such as, but not limited to, panel discussions, essay contests, and fundraisers. The chapter also participates in community outreach, political activities, and political endorsements.
Chicago NOW Vision Statement
The Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women strives to be a major force in fostering gender equality, social change, and social justice to the Chicago community.
Chicago NOW History and Structure
Established in 1967, the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women is an all volunteer-run organization whose purpose is to be Chicago’s premiere organization for the advancement of women and girls in the Chicago community. The board is lead by a chapter president who is elected every fall by chapter members. The vice president also is voted by chapter members while the secretary and treasurer are elected by only board members. Aside from being just a general board member, each volunteer takes on a role within the chapter to maintain structure and help the chapter reach our yearly goals. Each board member serves for two years and is elected by chapter members.
The best way to get involved and be a part of this passionate, committed group of women is to join this volunteer organization. Whether you’re passionate about reproductive justice, economic justice and equality, LGBTQ rights or all of the above, joining CNOW is a great way to make an impact.
Join NOW as a registered member today and help keep women’s voices at the forefront! Your support as a registered allows us to maintain a presence with lawmakers on critical issues in both D.C. and Springfield. In addition to making possible our ongoing advocacy efforts, your membership enables us to provide referrals to much needed services for women and girls across the nation. Moreover, by joining as a registered member you join a nationwide network of grassroots activists, connecting you with thousands of feminist organizers across the nation. Lastly, you gain access to discounts for the annual national conference and select events taking place in your area throughout the year.
Visit our membership page to learn more. Please note that annual membership dues are $40. This small annual fee helps to fund CNOW events, actions and campaigns surrounding key issues and opportunities to get involved in the fight towards full equality.