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Sonia Pressman Fuentes

In the early days of second wave feminism, Sonia Pressman Fuentes spearheaded the effort to extend the Civil Rights Act’s protections of equal opportunity to all people regardless of gender. First in her class at University of Miami School of Law, Fuentes worked as an attorney before joining the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was founded in 1965 to enforce the Civil Rights Act. Fuentes drafted many of the commission’s most important decisions and was the driving force behind many efforts to ensure opportunities and equal pay for women. Tired of resistance from colleagues to issues of women’s rights, Fuentes told Betty Friedan that women needed an organization that would fight for them the way the NAACP fought for African Americans. Fuentes then joined Friedan as one of the founders of NOW, fighting for the Equal Rights Amendment and Title IX. Fuentes also helped found the Women’s Equity Action League and Federally Employed Women, and served on the Board of Trustees of the National Women’s Party. She continues to write and speak on women’s rights.

Sonia Pressman Fuentes
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Sonia Pressman Fuentes
Date of Birth
May 30, 1928
Place of Birth

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Sonia Pressman Fuentes." (Viewed on April 21, 2015) <>.


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