Skip to main content

National Women's Political Caucus

NATIONAL WOMEN'S POLITICAL CAUCUS

NATIONAL WOMEN'S POLITICAL CAUCUS. Frustrated with legislative opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, in 1971 Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisholm, and Betty Friedan held an organizing conference in Washington, D.C., attended by more than 320 women from twenty-six states. That conference resulted in the formation of the National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC), a national, bipartisan, grassroots membership organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in all levels of political life. At that time, there were 362 women in state legislatures, compared with 1,656 in 2001, and 15 women in the 92nd Congress, compared with 72 in the 107th Congress. In 1975, the NWPC formed the Candidate Support Committee to give campaign funds to women candidates; it was the first political action committee for that purpose. A year later the NWPC organized the Coalition for Women's Appointments (CWA) specifically to increase the number of prochoice women in policymaking positions. By 1979, the number of women in such posts had grown by 10 percent since CAW's formation.

The NWPC was instrumental in getting Geraldine Ferraro named as the Democratic vice presidential nominee (1984), in defeating the Robert Bork nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court (1987), pressuring Congress to allow Anita Hill to be heard at Clarence Thomas's U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the Senate (1991), in getting Janet Reno (attorney general), Donna Shalala (secretary of health and human services), and Madeleine Albright (secretary of state) appointed to cabinet-level positions (1993), as well as Ann Veneman (secretary of agriculture), Elaine Chao (secretary of labor), and Gale Norton (secretary of the Interior) appointed to the Bush cabinet (2001).

The NWPC identifies, recruits, trains, and supports pro-choice women for electoral races and for appointive political positions. Meanwhile, it works to ensure equality for all women in all spheres of life.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Freeman, Jo. A Room at a Time: How Women Entered Party Politics. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000.

Thomas, Sue, and Clyde Wilcox, eds. Women and Elective Office: Past, Present, and Future. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Christine E.Hoffman

See alsoWomen in Public Life, Business, and the Professions ; Women's Rights Movement: The Twentieth Century .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"National Women's Political Caucus." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 9 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"National Women's Political Caucus." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 9, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/national-womens-political-caucus

"National Women's Political Caucus." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved December 09, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/national-womens-political-caucus

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.