"We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all civil and political rights that belong to the citizens of the United States be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever."
--Susan B. Anthony
The struggle to expunge all sex-based laws based on custom, stereotype and paternalism has been largely successful in this country. Sex discrimination has been banned, by federal and state law, in employment, education and housing. The right to abortion, while under attack, is still guaranteed by the Constitution. As a result, women today participate in all realms of society on a more equal basis than ever before.
But legally sanctioned discrimination still persists. Women still earn far less than men for the same work. The "glass ceiling" is still a barrier to women's advancement in the workplace. Access to reproductive health services is so limited in some areas as to make it effectively no longer a choice for many women and girls.
Other priorities include ensuring equal economic and educational opportunities, ending gender-based violence, and addressing the harms to women and girls in the criminal justice system. In the last 25 years, the number of women and girls caught in the criminal justice system has skyrocketed. Many of these women struggle with substance abuse, mental illness, and histories of physical and sexual abuse. Few get the services they need, including access to reproductive health services. The ACLU fights to ensure that the criminal justice system treats women and girls fairly, that it protects the health and safety of women in its custody, and that it facilitates their successful reentry into their communities.
The ACLU has argued more women's rights cases before the United States Supreme Court than any other organization. We will continue our commitment to ensure that women are free to live and work as equals, with full personal control over their reproductive health.
History of the ACLU Women's Rights Project