The National Organization For Women (NOW)

Decent Essays

The following is an exploration of the interest group, the National Organization for Women (NOW). First, this paper discusses the history of the organization and describes its foundation, categorization, and the major political factors which inspired its founding. Second, it describes the membership and provides suggestions for improvement with regards to benefits and membership criteria. Next, this analysis explains the internal dynamics, the significance of influencing public policy in relation to the organizational goals, and the governance structure. Finally, it covers the organizational ecology, which includes information about the interest community participation and lobbying activity of the National Organization for Women Political …show more content…

Subsequently, a small group of women’s rights activists in attendance at the Third National Conference of Commissions on the Status of Women, held on June 28-30 in 1966 in Washington, D.C., grew frustrated with the inability to influence the end of sex discrimination with regards to employment (NOW, 2011). Recognizing the public interest in the social movement which led to the implementation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, feminist activists seized the opportunity to leverage the momentum and apply it to their cause for women’s rights. Indeed, activist Betty Friedan played a critical role in the formation of NOW and reportedly remarked that it was the suggestion of the commissioners and attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that an organization be formed to advocate on behalf of women similarly to the way civil rights groups were advocating on behalf of African Americans (NOW, 2011). With this in mind, Freidan invited a group of like-minded conference participants to her hotel room that evening for further discussion about how to influence action on behalf of women. Additionally, Freidan is credited with writing the acronym “N-O-W” on a paper napkin and motivating her fellow activists to band together for their cause. The following day, the original group of twenty women gathered for lunch and recruited eight additional women who were interested in the idea of creating a formal body to address concerns at the conference. One of the women in the group, Analoyce Clapp, is credited with creating the first mission statement for the group at the conference, “to take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now, assuming all the privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men” (NOW, 2011). According to the interest group categorizations by

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