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Feminist Majority Foundation

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Feminist Majority Foundation logo.
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Feminist Majority Foundation offices

The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) is a non-profit organization in the United States dedicated to women's equality, reproductive health, and non-violence,[1] headquartered in Arlington County, Virginia. The name Feminist Majority comes from a 1986 Newsweek/Gallup public opinion poll in which 56 percent of American women self-identified as feminists. President and founder Eleanor Smeal chose the name to reflect the results of the poll, implying that the majority of women are feminists.

History and structure

The FMF—an IRS 501(c)(3) tax deductible, non-profit organization—is a research and education organization and the publisher of Ms. magazine. Founded in 1987 by Eleanor Smeal and some cofounders, three-time President of NOW (1977–82, 1985–87), it has offices in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, California. Its chair is Peg Yorkin.[2]

FMF became the publisher of Ms. in 2001.[3] supporting the magazine in becoming a non-profit organization. Co-founded in 1972 by political activist and feminist Gloria Steinem, Ms. is a women's magazine owned and produced by women that publishes articles on the conditions of women in the United States and abroad.[4] Ms. covered the situation of women in Afghanistan before the U.S. invasion, as well as the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, amidst the resignation of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and contributed to the pressure surrounding the resignation of former House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

The FMF has several campaigns and programs that deal with Women's Health and Reproductive Rights domestically and abroad, including:

  • National Clinic Access Project
  • Campaign for Women's Health
  • Mifepristone
  • Choices Campus Leadership Program (College and University Women)
  • Global Reproductive Rights Campaign
  • Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls[5]
  • Emergency Contraception Initiative
  • National Center for Women and Policing
  • Education Equity Program
  • Rock for Choice[6]

Mission statement

The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) was created to develop bold, new strategies and programs to advance women's equality, non-violence, economic development, and, most importantly, empowerment of women and girls in all sectors of society. All programs of the FMF endeavor to include a global perspective and activities to promote leadership development, especially among young women. Along with reproductive rights and access to reproductive technology, the FMF's programs have focused on the empowerment of women in law, business, medicine, academia, sports, and the Internet.[7]

Its sister organization, the Feminist Majority (formerly Fund for the Feminist Majority), a 501(c)(4) organization, focuses on empowering women in public policy-making as well as in gender balance in elective and appointive offices.


  • On March 23 and 24 of 2013, FMF hosted its 9th Annual National Young Feminist Leadership conference at the Double Tree Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, with speakers such as Dolores Huerta (President, Dolores Huerta Foundation/Co-Founder United Farm Workers/Recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom), Morgane Richardson (Founder of Refuse The Silence), Monica Simpson (Executive Director, Sister Song), Ivanna Gonzalez (Who Needs Feminism?).[8]
  • In 2006, FMF worked against an anti-affirmative action ballot measure in Michigan (the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which passed in 2006 but was overturned in 2011 in the federal circuit court[9]) and to pass a ballot initiative in South Dakota to repeal a state abortion ban.
  • In 2004, the Feminist Majority was one of five principal organizers of the "March for Women's Lives", which brought more than 1.15 million women and men to Washington, D.C., in support of reproductive rights.[10]
  • In 1992, FMF secured support for the Iowa Equal Rights Amendment and, in 1996, to counter an anti-affirmative action ballot measure in California.
  • During 1989-92, the FMF conducted the Feminization of Power campaign,[11] recruiting an unprecedented number of women to run for public office, resulting in doubling women's representation in the United States Congress in 1992 (the Year of the Woman).

Legislative initiatives

The Feminist Majority has also been a leader in legislative victories for women, including amending the Civil Rights Act of 1991 to provide for monetary damages to women who win sexual harassment and sex discrimination lawsuits in court; winning passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; the Violence Against Women Act and the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, in 1994; passing the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, in 1996; restoring Title IX, in 1988, and then successfully defending Title IX against Bush administration attempts to weaken the landmark federal law, in 2003, among other victories.[12] The Feminist Majority continues advocating for U.S. ratification of, both, the United Nations Women's Rights Treaty CEDAW, the Convention to End all forms of Discrimination Against Women) and the International Criminal Court.

See also


  1. ^ Feminist Majority Foundation
  2. ^
  3. ^ Farmer, R. (2001). Feminist majority foundation, Ms. Magazine join forces, National N O W Times.
  4. ^ Smeal, Eleanor; Steinem, Gloria (Spring 2002). "Dear Reader". Ms.: 1. 
  5. ^ Mann, Judy (July 9, 1999). "The Grinding Terror of the Taliban". The Washington Post. 
  6. ^ Neely, K. (1993). The fight for the right to choose. Rolling Stone, (652), 22.
  7. ^
  8. ^ 2013 NYFLC,
  9. ^ Henry, LaToya; LEGAL AFFAIRS AND NATIONAL EDITORS (2011-7-1). "6th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Diversity in the State of Michigan, Reverses Lower Court Ruling". PR Newswire.
  10. ^ Abortion Rights Advocates Flood D.C
  11. ^ "Former Now President Kicks Off". Associated Press. Oct 14, 1987. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  12. ^ "Speakers." (2015).

External links

See also