ACLU Vision for Achieving Gender Justice

Scales of justice

The ACLU is committed to achieving gender justice. We use litigation, legislation, advocacy, communications, and activism to change law and policy, to support movements, and to shift culture – all to elevate the rights, voices, and dignity of those who have been excluded because of gender-based oppression.

This statement lays out twelve goals we recognize as essential to achieving gender justice. Each speaks to ending one of the many pervasive forms of gender discrimination in our society. We recognize our lived experiences of gender discrimination differ, because many of us also experience racism, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, and/or other forms of oppression.   

Each goal is meant to address gender inequity in all its intersecting forms of discrimination. Gender justice is not possible if racism, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, and other forms of injustice remain.

No one is equal until we are all equal. 


1. Ensure a vision of gender justice that recognizes our intersecting identities and demands an end to the many forms of oppression we experience.

         Grace v. Sessions
         Learn more

         Jeff Sessions Slams the Door on Immigrants Desperate to Escape Domestic Violence
         Read more

         Give domestic violence survivors safe haven
         Sign the petition

2. Ensure people can live their lives free from gender-based violence and harassment.

         Tarana Burke and Alyssa Milano on the Future of #MeToo (ep. 19)
         LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

         Tarana Burke on coverage of #MeToo
         WATCH THE VIDEO

         E.D. v. Sharkey Amicus Brief
         READ MORE

3. Dismantle the sexism and racism that pervade our criminal justice system, in which women of color are currently the fastest growing segment of the prison population.

         Single Moms Get Sucked Into the Cruelest Debtors’ Prison We’ve Ever Seen
         READ MORE

         Congress Just Took a Big Step Toward Ending the Shackling of Pregnant Prisoners
         READ MORE

         The First Step Act Is a Small Step for Incarcerated Women
         READ MORE

4. Support decisions to have a child, not to have a child, and to raise a child - decisions too often denied poor people, people of color, same-sex couples, and people with disabilities, among others.

5. Ensure equity in health care, including ending the unconscionable maternal morbidity and mortality rates for Black women in the United States.

6. Achieve pay equity and equal opportunity in the workplace.

         Facebook EEOC complaint
         READ MORE

         How Facebook Is Giving Sex Discrimination in Employment Ads a New Life
         READ MORE

7. Guarantee pregnancy and caregiving are treated as normal conditions of employment, not cause for discrimination.

         Plummer v. Pacific Maritime Association, ILWU, and ILWU Local 13 – Amended Charge
         READ THE DOCUMENT

         ACLU Wins Change of Charleston Schools’ Policy That Discriminated Against Pregnant Workers and New Mothers
         READ THE PRESS RELEASE

         Federal Appeals Court Rules That Employers Must Provide Equal Accommodations to Breastfeeding Workers
         READ THE PRESS RELEASE

         Know Your Rights: Pregnancy Discrimination (with Alyssa Milano)
         WATCH THE VIDEO

8. Make real the promise of voting, removing obstacles that keep communities of color, people with disabilities, poor people, and the elderly – disproportionately women – from voting.

9. Secure housing free from gender-based discrimination.

10. Ensure educational opportunities free from gender-based discrimination and stereotypes.

11. Achieve equitable representation in leadership positions.

12. Solidify constitutional and statutory protections for gender equity.


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