Women’s rights are human rights and it’s important to protect them. However, many women sadly face hardships including poverty, domestic abuse, gender discrimination, and racial inequality. The good news is there are plenty of women’s rights organizations that tirelessly fight for women, and with the many contributions women have made towards building New York City, it’s no surprise that many of these organizations are based here, making it easier than ever to join the movement yourself!
Here are 10 NYC-based women’s rights organizations to support this Women’s History Month and every month after.
1. National Organization for Women-NYC (NOW-NYC)
For over 50 years, NOW-NYC has been igniting change for the women and girls of New York, and NYC’s chapter is their largest chapter in the country. This organization works to advance laws, promote women in politics, fight for reproductive justice, and challenge discrimination and violence against women. By working to get women a seat at the political table they’re ensuring that the real needs of women and families are represented at all levels.
2. Her Justice
Her Justice stands with and supports women living in poverty in New York City. Their work implements a “pro bono first” model where they pair thousands of well-trained pro bono volunteer lawyers with women who have legal needs in the areas of family, matrimonial, and immigration law. They provide an average of over 72,600 hours of legal services each year, valued at over $40 million. Through this initiative they’re able to address individual barriers and break down systemic barriers that are built into our civil justice system.
3. Center for Reproductive Rights
Since its founding in 1992, the Center for Reproductive Rights has transformed how reproductive rights are understood. This organization brings together lawyers and advocates to ensure reproductive rights are protected in law. With work across five continents, this organization has played a critical role in securing legal victories before national courts, United Nations Committees, and regional human rights bodies. They rally for access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, maternal health, and safe abortion services, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child marriage.
4. Women’s Education Project (WEP)
The Women’s Education Project offers the education required for women to become confident, responsible, and economically independent leaders. Through its Leadership Academy—a locally-sourced, holistic curriculum—young, vulnerable women between ages 15-24 are supported and taught to make informed choices for themselves to bring about positive change in their families and communities. With this curriculum, women are given access to explore their interests and acquire the job-ready skills required to pursue them.
How to get involved: You can donate to the WEP by clicking here.
MADRE is an international women’s human rights organization and feminist fund that works with sister organizations in countries like Colombia, Haiti, and Iraq to send essential items to women and families around the world. Volunteers reach out to companies for donations, such as medical supplies and school supplies, and then are in charge of packing and shipping those goods. This organization works with women leaders who protect and provide for communities facing war and disaster, and their mission is to advance women’s human rights by meeting urgent needs in communities.
6. The Lower Eastside Girls Club
The Lower Eastside Girls Club connects young women and gender-expansive youth of color to healthy, safe, and successful futures through free year-round programming and mentoring. Their after-school, weekend, and summer activities are focused in areas such as art, civic engagement, robotics, environmental studies, film and photography, music production, fashion, and culinary education, just to name a few. This makes it possible for young people to connect with their passions and channel their creative energy in a positive way.
7. The New York Women’s Foundation
Now in its 25th year, The New York Women’s Foundation’s mission is to create an equitable and just future for all women and girls. As a platform for women-identifying and non-binary people, they invest in women-led community-based solutions to promote the economic security, safety, and health of overlooked women. Their three main areas of focus are empowering women with education, job training, and financial literacy, keeping girls, women, and transgender people safe from intimate-partner abuse, and promoting reproductive health.
8. Planned Parenthood of New York City
Planned Parenthood is the country’s leading nonprofit that works to provide women with reproductive health care. Each year this nonprofit serves millions of people, providing them with vital resources such as sex education and health screenings. Some things on their agenda include HIV prevention and care, combating gender-based violence, and providing sexual and reproductive health care for incarcerated individuals.
9. Girl Rising
Girl Rising believes in the power of storytelling to change the way the world values girls and their education. Through their work Girl Rising builds confidence in girls to help them succeed in their education and to bring about a more inclusive learning environment with improved education for girls. They do this by working with educators, schools, community organizations, businesses, and non-profits globally.
10. Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is on a mission to close the gender gap in the tech industry. The biggest drop off of girls in computer science is between the ages of 13 and 17, and this organization is on track to close the gender gap in entry-level tech jobs by 2030. They run clubs, summer programs, and college programs, all which give girls access to coding knowledge and tech jobs in a friendly environment.