Women's Rights

Women's Rights

A look back at history shows that women have made great strides in the fight for equality, including women's suffrage (the right to vote), and inroads in equal opportunity in the workplace and in education. But today gender bias continues to create huge barriers for many, especially poor women, women of color, and immigrant women. Ongoing struggles include ensuring equal economic and educational opportunities, ending gender-based violence, and addressing the harms to women and girls in the criminal justice system.

Since 1972 the ACLU has been working to secure gender equality and ensure that all women and girls are able to lead lives of dignity, free from violence and discrimination, including discrimination based on gender stereotypes.  This means an America where all women and girls have equal access to quality education, employment, housing, and health, irrespective of race, class, income, immigration status or involvement with the criminal justice system.

Make a Difference

Your support helps the ACLU defend women's rights and a broad range of civil liberties.

Give Now

Additional Resources

Teach Kids Not Stereotypes: The ACLU has long fought to end the practice of separating boys and girls in public schools based on discredited "science" that is rooted in outdated gender stereotypes. The ACLU launched the Teach Kids, Not Stereotypes campaign to gather information about single-sex education programs around the country.

How Far Has The Women's Movement Moved In The Last 40 Years? (2013 blog): Forty years ago, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) board of directors determined that women's rights should be the organization's highest priority. Then-executive director Aryeh Neier, created the ACLU Women's Rights Project and named Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the first director. Since then, Ginsburg has become a justice on the United States Supreme Court, and the Women's Rights Project (WRP) has won many landmark court decisions, achieved significant legislative successes, and shifted public awareness and understanding of women's equality.

Women's Rights and the Human Rights Program (2010 resource): The ACLU Women's Rights Project and Human Rights Project address gender-based violence and trafficking by working together to promote and protect the rights of women, girls and low-wage immigrant women workers. This reference to key human rights treaties highlights their work of incorporating human rights standards in litigation and state and federal legislative advocacy, and engaging with the United States before U.N. and regional human rights forums.

Voting Rights Act Timeline (2005 timeline): A timeline of the Voting Rights Act.

Honoring the Women of the Civil Rights Movement (2011 blog): A blog that celebrates the women of the Civil Rights Movement.

The ACLU And Women's Rights: Proud History, Continuing Struggle (2002 timeline)

A Vote For Women, A Vote For CEDAW (2010 blog)

Happy Birthday 19th Amendment! (2008 blog)

Timeline of Major Supreme Court Decisions on Women's Rights (2007 timeline)

Most Popular

Just A Smack On The Ass: A Tale Of Sexual Assault, Vengeance And Nervous Swearing (2011 blog)

"Hey Baby:" Enduring Street Harassment (2011 blog)

ACLU of PA Sues Beaver County Child Welfare Agency Over Wrongful Seizure of Newborns (2003 press release)

Statistics image