Monroe County NOW has six primary focus areas: winning economic equality; securing that equality with an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will guarantee equal rights for women; championing abortion rights, reproductive freedom and other women’s health issues; opposing racism; fighting bigotry against the LGBTQ+ community; and ending violence against women.
Reproductive Rights and Justice
Reproductive rights can be a matter of choice or a matter of life or death for a woman. NOW supports access to safe and legal abortion, effective birth control and emergency contraception, and reproductive health services and education for all women.
The U.S. Census Bureau found that in 2015, of full-time, year-round employees, women earned just 80 percent of the salaries earned by their male peers. In a spring 2017 report, the American Association of University Women estimated that this pay gap won’t close until 2152. The pay gap is pervasive in nearly every profession. We seek to expedite this timeline, fostering greater economic justice NOW.
Ending Violence Against Women
Women from all social and economic backgrounds suffer from domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, gender bias, and hate crimes related to gender, sexuality, and race. This egregious pattern of behavior and the systems that perpetuate it must change, and we will work on the state and local level to do so.
Our feminism must be intersectional. Monroe County NOW represents women of all races and religions, rejecting bigotry, hatred, and misogyny in all its forms, and offering support to our refugee and immigrant populations, as well as other marginalized and under-represented groups.
We believe people should be able to use the bathroom in which they feel most comfortable and marry the person they love. We abhor discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity as it relates to housing, employment, health, child custody, and military service. Part of our work is to help promote positive images of members of Bloomington’s LGBTQ+ community, which actively helps educate the public on safety and inclusion, supports the youth community, and offers cultural and artistic engagement, from the Pridefest summer celebration to the PRIDE Film Festival.
OK, so we didn’t succeed in ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. Yet. Our National Action Program (NAP) lists ratifying the ERA as one of our top five priorities. Until then, we will persist in our mission to ensure equality in pay, job opportunities, political structure, and education. We will resist all efforts to remove our precious civil liberties. We will call, fax, write, and visit our representatives at every turn when legislation arises that threatens our constitutional rights.