By Rachel Allen
As women continue to fight for equality, it’s important to know who’s on our side. In no particular order of awesomeness, here are some (of the many) organizations pursuing justice for women everywhere:
A publicly supported, nonprofit foundation working to advance women’s human rights through funding women-led organizations worldwide. The Global Fund for Women provides general operating support grants to organizations at the local, regional, and national levels to enable women and girls to reach their potential and live free of discrimination and violence.
NOW is largest organization of feminist activists in the US. Currently there are 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Founded in 1966, NOW aims to bring about equality for all women by working to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control, and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism, and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society.
For nearly 100 years, Planned Parenthood has been promoting a commonsense approach to women’s health and wellbeing, based on respect for individual’s right to make informed, independent decisions about health, sex, and family planning. Planned Parenthood has 69 unique governed affiliates nationwide and operates more than 700 health centers, providing safe and reliable health care.
Founded in 1987, the Feminist Majority Foundation is dedicated to women’s equality, reproductive health, and non-violence. FMF utilizes research and action to empower women economically, socially, and politically. The organization focuses on advancing the legal, social, and political equality of women with men, countering the backlash to women’s advancement, and recruiting and training young feminists to encourage future leadership for the feminist movement in the United States.
A new grassroots, feminist organization dedicated to building the struggle for women’s rights and equality for all. WORD strives to provide women with access to safe, legal abortion and birth control, to close the wage gap and provide equal pay for equal work, to stop budget cuts, and to fight racism, sexism, and anti-LGBT bigotry.
The 1 in 3 Campaign is a grassroots movement aimed at starting a conversation about abortion. Individuals tell their stories as a way to build a culture of compassion, empathy, and support for access to basic healthcare. Building on the success of prior social change movements, the 1 in 3 Campaign uses the power or storytelling to engage and inspire action to help create a more enabling cultural environment for the policy and legal work of the abortion rights movement.
Founded by Sarah Silverman and Lizz Winstead, Lady Parts Justice is an organization that has teamed up with comedians, musicians, and activists to use humor and outrage to expose, humiliate, and remove local politicians from office. Recently, the organization hosted one of the greatest online pop-up telethons to help women in Texas who are suffering under dangerous abortion laws and raised $50,000 raising money and awareness for those affected by Texas laws on women’s health.
8. Equality Now
Equality Now, founded in 1992, advocates for human rights of women and girls around the world through raising international visibility of individual cases of abuse, mobilizing public support through global membership, and wielding strategic political pressure to ensure that governments enact or enforce laws and policies that uphold the rights of women and girls.
9. Choice USA
Founded by Gloria Steinem and other feminist leaders 15 years ago, Choice USA is a national pro-choice organization that gives emerging leaders the tools they need to organize, network, and exchange ideas to build a youth-centered pro-choice agenda and mobilize communities for reproductive justice.
10. A is For
Founded by Martha Plimpton and Lizz Winstead, A is For is “an ally and advocate for organizations working to protect reproductive rights.” It is a unifying forum utilizing social media to spotlight issues and encourage activism. The campaign aims to challenge the traditional meaning of the scarlet letter by encouraging women, and men who support them, to wear the A proudly, re-appropriating the meaning to one of dignity, defiance, and autonomy.
The Women’s Global Empowerment Fund aims to reach underserved women through economic, social and political programs; creating opportunities while addressing inequality, strengthening families, and communities through grassroots strategies empowering women globally.
Maternal mortality, where around the world, one woman dies every 90 seconds in pregnancy or childbirth, has broken into public consciousness as a key human rights issue. In June 2010, the U.N. Human Rights Council passed a resolution recognizing maternal mortality as a human rights concern and Amnesty International has been working to campaign for the right to maternal health in the United States, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, and Peru.
Alliance for International Women’s Rights is a U.S. non-profit organization with the mission of supporting women leaders and future women leaders in developing countries with a current focus on Afghanistan. The Alliance is working on creating connections between Afghan women and professionals in developed countries who would like to use their skills in furthering women’s rights. Connections are created through long-distance Empowerment Programs.
Envisioning a society where equal access to abortion is guaranteed for all, regardless of economic situation, the Lilith Fund assists Texans in exercising their fundamental right to abortion by removing barriers to access. Lilith provides direct financial assistance and counseling to empower people seeking to terminate unwanted pregnancy and education and outreach within the community about reproductive rights.
Advocates for change that the U.S. and global levels allowing for women and men to share equally in the enjoyment of opportunities, economic prosperity, voice, and freedom from fear and violence. All work is grounded in the realities of women living in poverty, partner with locally based organizations, and create powerful coalitions to advance the interests of women and girls.
Named as one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America, NARAL is made up of pro-choice women and men across the United States who together work to protect a woman’s right to choose. NARAL hosts an annual series of premier fundraising events across the country to raise awareness and support of women’s rights. NARAL also works in a political capacity with grassroots, on-the-ground movements calling on members of Congress and the Senate to keep politicians out of private decisions about pregnancy.
Offering care for women by women, Whole Women’s Health, founded in 2003, provides an unparalleled patient-centered setting where the focus is on the whole women, her body, heart, and mind. Whole Women’s Health is a privately owned feminist organization, committed to providing holistic care for women.