Today, the rallying cry to fight for women's rights echoes that of the 1970s women's rights movement. On January 21st, over a million (5 million worldwide!) people came together across the United States with the Women's March on Washington to send a bold message to the Trump administration: women's rights are human rights.
In the wake of the success of the Women's March, women's advocacy groups face a fundamental challenge: how will they harness the momentum of this moment to drive effective change?
In honor of International Women's Day, here are a few of the many powerful women's rights organizations out there that you can get involved with now to transform this moment into being a fully sustained movement.
1) National Organization for Women (NOW)
NOW is the largest feminist organization in the United States. Since their founding in 1966, NOW's goal has been to take action to bring about equality for all women. As the grassroots arm of the women’s movement, the National Organization for Women is dedicated to its multi-issue and multi-strategy approach to women’s rights.
The advocacy group's priorities include securing economic equality + equal rights for women with an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, championing abortion rights + reproductive justice along with other women’s health issues, opposing racism, fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in all areas, including employment, housing, health services, and child custody, and ending violence against all women, no matter race, age, or socioeconomic class.
Current Work: One of NOW's current campaigns is fighting to pass the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage Act (EACH) Woman Act. Originally introduced to Congress in July 2015, this act will stop the Hyde Amendment from unfairly jeopradizing the health and well-being of low-income women and their families and will ensure insurance coverage for abortion care in both private and public insurance plans.
2) League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters is a citizens’ organization that has fought since 1920 to improve our government and engage all citizens in the decisions that impact their lives. The centerpiece of the League’s efforts remain to expand participation and give a voice to all Americans.
Current Work: One of the League’s main priorities is Protecting Voters. They seek to protect and expand voting rights by advocating for proactive reforms such as expanded early voting and online voter registration. It also advocates against barriers to the voter registration process and on Election Day, and helps millions of voters get the information and any required documentation they need to vote.
The League also works to modernize our voting systems, streamline the voting process, promote transparent and accountable redistricting and make it easier for all eligible citizens to become active participants in our electoral process.
3) The Association of Women's Rights in Development (AWID)
The Association of Women's Rights in Development is an international, feminist, membership organization committed to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and women’s human rights. AWID provides comprehensive information and analysis on women’s human rights and global issues.
Current Work: One priority area for AWID is Resisting and Challenging Religious Fundamentalisms work is focused on The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) treatment of women particularly in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Syria. AWID asserts that ISIS is the enemy of religious freedom, human rights, and of women everywhere. It threatens the security of citizens across the globe. The organization is calling on the international community, the United Nations, and member-states to take urgent action.
4) Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood has been a flagship for women's health care, education, and activism for 100 years. Planned Parenthood believes in the fundamental right of each individual to manage her fertility regardless of age, income, marital status, race, residence, ethnicity, or natural origin.
The new Presidential administration and Congress are threatening to shut down Planned Parenthood health centers across the country. Doing this would potentially block health care for 2.5 million people.
Current Work: Under threat of being defunded, Planned Parenthood is urging supporters to tell Congress that they are a part of the overwhelming majority that stands with Planned Parenthood. Additionally, the nonprofit is at leading the charge to protect Title X, the nation's family planning program that protects access to reproductive health care, from being overturned.
5) The American Association of University Women
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls. Since their founding in 1881, AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political.
Current Work: AAUW's latest campaign, Stand Up to Sexism, raises awareness about sexist microaggressions that contribute to the gender inequality gap. This gap creates a culture where a woman's work is devalued, often leading to women devaluing themselves. Visit the campaign website to share your story, get empowered, and urge elected officials to fight to protect women's rights.
Two More Videos
Remember, fighting for what is right is never in vain. Here is one last video from the Women's March on Washington to inspire you to keep up the good fight.
Ready to get started? Learn how Salsa can help movement's like yours gain supporters, gather momentum, and affect impactful social change.
Editor's Note: The post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.