Top of page

Exhibition Join In: Voluntary Assocations in America

Betty Friedan (1921–2006), President of the National Organization for Women, Tells Reporters in the New York State Assembly Lobby of the Group’s Intention to “Put Sex into Section I of the New York Constitution,” 1967. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (123.00.00)
Bettye Lane (1930–2012), photographer. ERA March, 1979. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (124.00.00)

National Organization for Women

In 1966, angered by the refusal of federal Civil Rights policymakers to address sex discrimination in the workplace, a group of twenty-eight women including activists Betty Friedan (1921-2006) and Pauli Murray (1910–1985) met in Washington, D.C., to explore ways to strengthen the fight. The National Organization for Women (NOW) was the result. Founded “to take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now,” NOW currently has hundreds of chapters and thousands of members across the nation. Through grassroots activism and highly visible mass marches and demonstrations, NOW is an active voice for myriad feminist causes, including women’s legal equality, reproductive rights, economic justice, and protection from sex- and gender-based violence.