Jewish Women on the Map - Jefferson Hotel - Brithplace of NOW
The foundation for the National Organization for Women (NOW), now the largest feminist organization in America, was laid in Washington, DC, at a meeting in Betty Friedan's room at the Jefferson Hotel during the Third National Conference of Commissions on the Status of Women. Although the Commissions had reported widespread discrimination against women as early as 1963, conference rules prohibited passage of any resolution suggesting that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission act on its mandate to end sex discrimination. Stymied by the rules, Friedan and 27 like-minded women decided to launch a new campaign for combating bias against women. Four months later, the group met again to approve a Statement of Purpose and by-laws for a civil rights organization dedicated to advancing gender equality. The organization's goal was "to take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American Society NOW, assuming all the privileges and responsibilities thereof in fully equal partnership with men."