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National Organization for Women (NOW)  

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Last Updated: Sep 13, 2016 URL: http://libguides.usd.edu/now Print Guide RSS Updates

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Collection Summary

Title National Organization for Women (NOW)
Span Dates 1970-1982
Bulk Dates (bulk dates, 1970-1994)
Quantity 2.5 linear ft.
Printed Material
Location     Archives and Special Collections, University Libraries, University of South Dakota.

 Founded in 1966, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is a feminist group that combats sexual discrimination in economic, social, and political spheres in the United States.  During the 1970s, feminist action called for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), enforcement of Title VII, maternity leave, child-care centers, equal education, job-training opportunities, labor legislation, and reproductive rights.  By 1973 NOW had grown to 15,000 members in 365 chapters, making strides with Title VII, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and domestic violence.  However, during the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, NOW began to lose members due to their stance on lesbian rights, the ERA, and escalating tensions among top executives within the organization.  

The Vermillion chapter of NOW was formed circa 1971 and was originally known as the Women’s Equity League during its early years.  Catherine Dunlap was the president, and the chapter was active in achieving national NOW’s stated objectives in South Dakota.  The chapter organized events during the 1970s and early 1980s such as Days of Suffrage Celebration, Women’s Week (conference sessions held at The University of South Dakota) and Women’s Awareness Week.  The chapter also worked in conjunction with many local organizations promoting women’s rights which included the American Association of University Women and the Sioux Falls chapter of NOW.

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