Tuesday, October 13, 2009

N.O.W. Mission...(sponsor of forum at Compass at 6 p.m. tonight)

The purpose of the Florida National Organization for Women, Inc. is to take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now, exercising all privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men. This includes, but is not limited to, equal rights and responsibilities in all aspects of citizenship, public service, employment, education and family life.

We support
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, equal opportunity for women and people of color. Florida NOW condemns the racism which inflicts a double burden of race and sex discrimination on women of color. Seeing human rights as indivisible, we are committed to identifying and fighting against those barriers to equality and justice that are imposed by racism. We believe Affirmative Action is a necessary tool to achieve balance.

FLNOW is committed to
LESBIAN AND GAY RIGHTS. We continue to fight discrimination based on sexual orientation in all areas, including employment, public accommodations, housing, child custody, military and immigration policy and legally recognized marriage.

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS are issues of life and death for women and not mere matters of choice. Florida NOW supports access to low cost, safe and legal abortion, effective birth control and access to reproductive health care and education.

We deplore
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. We challenge and act to change the status and image of women as victims, which leaves them vulnerable to sexual assault and spouse abuse. We have pioneered model rape and spouse assault legislation and support programs for battered women, and promote self-defense programs for women. We have developed model judicial rape education curriculum and urge that all the judges and state attorneys in Florida be required to attend seminars to educate themselves on the effects violence and rape have on women.

We seek equality in jobs, pay, credit, insurance, pensions, fringe benefits, and Social Security, in short, full
ECONOMIC JUSTICE for women. Florida NOW is dedicated to ensuring economic protections for older women, who are all too often condemned to lives of poverty. We work to eliminate discrimination in pension plans, retirement programs, health insurance plans and social security. Florida NOW supports public programs to provide early childhood development as well as quality of child care to meet the needs of children of all ages and their parents of all economic backgrounds. Florida NOW actively supports full rights for homemakers and recognition for the economic value of the vital services they perform. We support legislation and programs reflecting the reality of marriage as an equal economic partnership. We actively pursue the rights of girls and women to full and equal educational opportunities. We oppose discrimination or gender segregation. We are unequivocally committed to equal distribution of financial resources to ensure equal opportunity in sports and recreation for girls and women. The FEMINIZATION OF POWER will work toward reversing the feminization of poverty. We urge you to influence placement of more women into policy-making positions within our government, business, education, religion and media institutions. The requirement to teach Women's Herstory in education is essential.

These are but some of the issues which fall into the wide-ranging category of Women's concerns. We are concerned about our society's insensitivity to the needs of the physically challenged and the special problems of rural women and farm workers. We are very concerned about the well being of our earthly environment. We strongly believe in the separation of church and state.

It is our fervent hope that you will work in partnership with the membership of Florida NOW and support the women of Florida in their endeavors to be recognized in all aspects of life as full citizens.