Egalia at Tennessee Gurilla Women reproduces NOW’s “Bill of Rights” from their first national conference, which took place in 1967. As Egalia says, it’s interesting to look at this, nearly 40 years later, and see what has – and hasn’t – been accomplished, and what is still under fire.
BILL OF RIGHTS
I. That the United States Congress immediately pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution to provide that “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” and that such then be immediately ratified by the several States.
II. That equal employment opportunity be guaranteed to all women, as well as men by insisting that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforce the prohibitions against sex discrimination in employment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the same vigor as it enforces the prohibitions against racial discrimination.
III. That women be protected by law to insure their rights to return to their jobs within a reasonable time after childbirth without loss of seniority or other accrued benefits and be paid maternity leave as a form of social security and/or employee benefit.
IV. Immediate revision of tax laws to permit the deduction of home and child care expenses for working parents.
V. That child care facilities be established by law on the same basis as parks, libraries and public schools adequate to the needs of children, from the pre-school years through adolescence, as a community resource to be used by all citizens from all income levels.
VI. That the right of women to be educated to their full potential equally with men be secured by Federal and State legislation, eliminating all discrimination and segregation by sex, written and unwritten, at all levels of education including college, graduate and professional schools, loans and fellowships and Federal and State training programs, such as the job Corps.
VII. The right of women in poverty to secure job training, housing and family allowances on equal terms with men, but without prejudice to a parent’s right to remain at home to care for his or her children; revision of welfare legislation and poverty programs which deny women dignity, privacy and self respect.
VIII. The right of women to control their own reproductive lives by removing from penal codes the laws limiting access to contraceptive information and devices and laws governing abortion.
From Sisterhood Is Powerful, a great anthology which is available on Amazon for a quarter.