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How Women’s Organizations Are Pushing Forward In 2014

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Jan. 14 2014, Published 3:00 a.m. ET

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Women’s organizations are at the forefront of executing strategies to fix some of America’s flaws. From pushing through legislation, to changing corporate practices to increasing access to health care, these groups are putting in the groundwork to create change.

We asked some of the larger organizations what they accomplished this past year and what they plan to achieve in the coming 12 months.  We talked to the leadership of the American Association of University Women, Emily’s List, Mom’s Rising, Our Bodies Ourselves and NARAL.

Here are just some of the highlights.

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Among the keys to seeing real change is electing more women lawmakers.  That’s where Emily’s List comes in.  The organization’s president, Stephanie Schriock  told us, “There was a clear mandate for women’s leadership in the 2012 elections, and momentum for women candidates has only been building since.”

Moms Rising reports that their million-strong membership now reflects the ethnic and racial diversity of the U.S. The grassroots group made growth in many areas, from getting yellow dye out of mac and cheese to helping full-time parents get credit and extending unemployment insurance.  And they’re now blogging bilingually.

But women’s work–and activism is never done. There may be some progress, but even more can be made.

The American Association of University Women declares its intent to push the Paycheck Fairness Act and persuade the President to sign an executive order protecting federal contractors who ask about wage practices.

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Citing the attacks of the last two years on women’s health by some Tea Party politicians, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, says her organization works to fight back in all 50 states. “After a record outpouring of opposition to these measures from the Deep South to the heart of the Midwest, it is crystal clear that women and men in states across the country need new leaders who value women’s health. This year, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Votes will be working to change the face of leadership in key states in order to ensure that a woman’s access to health care doesn’t depend on her zip code.”

In 2013, NARAL organized a petition with 89,000 signatures calling on the Nebraska Commission on Judicial Qualifications to investigate an anti-choice judge. The group also pledges to elect more pro-choice lawmakers across the country- especially in the states – and show that choice is an issue candidates can run on and win.

Photo © Andres Rodriguez – Fotolia.com

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