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Let's Make History During Women's History
Month - March 2014!

Women's Equality ActThe National Organization for Women New York State (NOW-NYS) is working hard for a brighter future for women in New York.

Women in New York State expect and deserve full equality and NOW-NYS is leading the fight for passage of the Women's Equality Act this year.

In January 2014, the New York Sate Assembly passed the full Women’s Equality Act which includes sweeping reforms that will finally ensure true equality for the women of New York. We applaud the Assembly effort!

This legislation protects women's health and reproductive rights, ensures pay equity, combats sexual harassment, and includes stronger penalties for human trafficking.

NOW-NYS is working to make sure the NYS Senate passes all 10 points to ensure women's full equality. The Senate has failed to enact the full Women's Equality agenda, refusing to legally guarantee women's reproductive freedom.We must enact all provisions of the Women's Equality Act because New York's women deserve action guaranteeing every single one of their rights -- not just some of them.

The 10 points of the Women's Equality Act are:

1) Protect a woman's freedom of choice by enacting the Reproductive Health Act

2) Achieve pay equity

3) Stop sexual harassment in all workplaces

4) Allow for recovery of attorneys' fees in employment and credit and lending cases

5) Strengthen human trafficking laws

6) End family status discrimination

7) Stop source-of-income discrimination

8) Stop housing discrimination for victims of domestic violence

9) Stop pregnancy discrimination once and for all

10) Protect victims of domestic violence by strengthening order-of- protection laws

New York helped lead the country over four decades ago -- even before the Roe v. Wade decision -- and with bipartisan support took steps to provide access to full reproductive health. In recent years, that access is being challenged and prohibited in dozens of states.

Please join us by contacting your State Senator and make your voice heard. Let him or her know that we demand all 10 points NOW. Your advocacy will make the difference!


Moving Feminism Into the Future
NOW NE Regional Conference and Elections
April 6, Noon - 6:00 pm
Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY

Join feminists from New York Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine for exciting dialog and powerful films. Panel discussions will be on "What Are the Cutting Edge Issues for Feminists?," "Why Join Coalitions?," and "Building the Women's Rights Movement - Modernizing NOW." NOW President Terry O'Neill will be the main speaker. See flyer for more details including registration information.


NOW New York State Reporter

Read the fall 2013 issue.


"Great speakers. As a young woman, I promise to continue this fight for women's rights"

This was just one of several positive comments received about NOW - NYS's 2013 annual convention, held November 9, 2013 at the City College of New York.

NOW-NYS convention
Some of the women who participated in the 2013 NOW-NYS Convention Powerful group.

NOW-NYS convention
Attending the convention were Sonia Ossorio, president of the NOW-NYC chapter, Zenaida Mendez, president of NOW-NYS, and Rachelle Suissa, president of the NOW-Brooklyn/Queen chapter.

Terry O"Neill
Terry O'Neill, National NOW President, speaking at the 2013 NOW-NYS Convention in NYC. Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is on the left.

NOW-NYS convention
Attendees of the 2013 NOW-NYS Convention packed a powerful house at City College of New York.


NOW - NYS Names Leadership Award after Dominican Philanthropist

At the 2013 annual convention on Saturday, November 9, 2013, City College of New York, NOW-NYS awarded the first-ever Rosalba Polanco Leadership Award, named after the great Dominican activist who in 2005 was a key organizer for NOW's Second National Women of Color Summit.

Ms. Polanco also revitalized Bronx NOW, with the group becoming the first-ever Spanish-language chapter in NOW history. Indeed, her sudden 2011 passing, at the early age of forty-six, was a blow to the Dominican community, both in NYC and in her native province of Santiago, Dominican Republic, where she also supported a child care center.

Rosalba Polanco believed that the key to solving the many problems confronting the Latino community was in helping women become self-sufficient through creating small businesses, a process through which these women discover self-worth and self-esteem. The women become politically empowered by knowing their rights as US citizens and residents. Such important values and tools are reflected upon and passed on to families, all of whose members can then contribute to the overall growth and development of the Latino community.

2013 convention honoreesThe honorees are former NOW-NYS President Noreen Connell, Young Feminist Task Force Chair Donya Nasser, and Miriam Chico El-Amin, a registered nurse, counselor, educator, and trainer of child care providers.


NOW-NYS Decries Reproductive Rights Omission from W.E.A.; It's Our Body, It's Our Choice!

On June 22, the NYS Senate passed only nine of Governor Cuomo's ten-point Women's Equality Act. This followed passage of all ten points by the NYS Assembly. The point omitted by the Senate was the Reproductive Rights plank, which would have codified the protections of the US Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision(now under constant assault by religious conservatives) for all New York women. National Organization for Women – New York State President Zenaida Mendez was "appalled by the omission. It's our body; it's our choice!" she said.  Read the rest of the news release.

More about the Women's Equality Agenda.

NOW-NYS President Arrested
Zenaida Mendez President of the National Organization for Women-NYS, was arrested in the state capital on JUne 18, 2013,for demanding that the Women's Equality Act be brought to the floor for a vote.


The National Organization for Women Advocates
for True, Fair Immigration Reform

Immigration affects women deeply as more than half of the almost 11 million undocumented immigrants are women and children. NOW-NYS supports immigration reform legislation that provides a path to citizenship, promotes the reunification of families, includes protections against exploitation in the workplace, and doesn't include fences, walls or border prisons. Read more.


Women Need Access to Reproductive Health Care!

With only one month remaining in the legislative session, now more than ever, we must tell our NYS Legislators that women need access to reproductive health care. As many of you know, women's rights and specifically reproductive rights are under attack in the War on Women.

The Reproductive Health Act has support from the majority of New York State residents (70%); NYS Legislators need to hear from you regarding this legislation. This act, if signed into law, will improve the health of every woman who resides in New York State, giving her access of contraception and safe and legal abortions without interference from the government.

It will put abortion procedures in the health code where they belong, instead of in the penal code.

Governor Cuomo has stated that he fully supports this legislation and will sign it into law when passed by the NYS Legislature.

Contact your NYS Legislator today and tell her/him to pass the New York State Reproductive Health Act. It's as easy as clicking a few times.

Find and contact your NYS Assembly member via phone and email

Send letters to editors of various publications

See a sample letter at the Young Feminists blog


Adult Women's Unemployment Rate Exceeds Men's for the First Time in More than Six Years

Read the report from the National Women's Law Center.


When someone tells you that feminism is dead and unnecessary, send them this article

Raped Cheerleader's Suit Misses Title IX Complaint - by Wendy Murphy, WeNews Contributing Editor.

"Title IX has been pigeon-holed as a sports-equity law for schools. Wendy Murphy says an unconscionable case of sex harassment against a Texas cheerleader shows how the widespread misunderstanding of the law hinders justice." Read the entire article.


Oppose the "Cat Food" Commission -- Build the Campaign Against Raising the Retirement Age

Your help is needed to build opposition in Congress against dramatic Social Security benefit cuts we expect will be proposed by President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Dominated by conservatives, the group has been dubbed the "Cat Food" Commission because of their apparent intention to push millions of people -- especially women -- out of the middle class and into poverty. Learn more about the Commission and what you can do.


Disorder in the Courts! Participate in this very important survey
From New York to California, women have suffered at the hands of courts that are biased against women. NOW - New York State is asking custodially embattled parents, lawyers and judges to complete a survey. The survey will be used by NOW - NYS to update its research for legislative purposes. The survey is available as a PDF document or a Word document.


Pass Pay Equity Legislation in New York State
NOW New York State is a member of the NYS Pay Equity Coalition. We are working diligently to make sure that women receive equal pay. The feminization of poverty is an issue that affects women in their everyday lives.

Women continue to make only 77 cents on the $1.00 that their male counterpart makes. It is time for New York State to pass The Fair Pay Act (A-2712/S-3936). This bill has been introduced into the NYS Assembly by Susan John. The NYS Assembly has passed this bill but, it has yet to pass the Senate. Senator Craig Johnson is the prime sponsor in the NYS Senate.

Take action. Print the Petition and send emails to your NYS legislators and Governor Paterson. Go to our Take Action section for a form letter that you can sign and send. We also have posted the Action Tool Kit that has been designed by the Coalition:


Equal Rights Amendment
Read why it is time to pass the ERA - Equal Rights Amendment - now! Sign our petition asking New York State legislators to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.


Young Feminists
NOW - New York State has received numerous requests from women on campuses asking how they can start a NOW chapter or a CAN (Campus Action Network). For more information on how you can start a NOW chapter or a CAN, contact us at info@nownys.org or call 518.452.3944

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