National Women's Law Center

The National Women's Law Center was founded in 1972 as a non-profit advocacy organization working to advance the progress of women, girls, and families with emphasis on employment, education, reproductive rights and health, and family issues. The Center has been at the forefront of the major legal and public policy initiatives in this country to improve the lives of women: educating state, local, and federal policy-makers as well as members of the public about critical women's issues; building and leading coalitions; litigating ground-breaking cases and informing landmark Supreme Court decisions. The Center is a sponsor of human rights, helping to resonate women's voices through the minds of public policy-makers, advocates, and the public alike.


11 Dupont Circle, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Ph. (202) 588-5180
Fx. (202) 588-5185


Principal Staff

Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President

Marcia Greenberger, Co-President

Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security

Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment

Niesa Brateman Halpern, Vice President of Administration and Finance

Emily Martin, Vice President and General Counsel

Karen Schneider, Vice President for Communications

Judy Waxman, Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights

Featured Events


Projects & Campaigns

The child care needs of American families have increased sharply as women with children enter the paid workforce in growing numbers and as recognition grows about the importance of high-quality early learning experiences to help children get a strong start. We're working to create and strengthen policies to improve the quality, affordability, and accessibility of child care and early education.

Women and girls have come a long way since the enactment of Title IX – the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. Still, far too many students are denied equal educational opportunities, particularly low-income and minority students. We're working to eliminate and prevent barriers, including discrimination, to students' success in school.
Women still face discrimination in the workplace, and they still earn, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. We're working to achieve equality in the workplace, including equal pay, the elimination of harassment and other forms of sex discrimination, and the removal of barriers to nontraditional careers for women.

Women's health is endangered by limited access to health care, and reproductive rights are under concerted attack. We're working to protect reproductive rights, guarantee health care for women and families, and promote policies to advance and protect women's health.

When federal judges are not committed to enforcing basic rights critical to women, hard-won legal rights are drastically eroded. We're working to promote a fair and independent judiciary and supporting nominees who have demonstrated a commitment to equal opportunity for women and families.
Women are at greater risk of poverty than men at all stages of their lives because of ongoing employment discrimination and greater responsibilities for unpaid caregiving. We're working to strengthen income and work support programs to increase economic security for women and their families.
Women’s lower lifetime earnings and longer lifespan put them at far greater risk of poverty as they age than men. We’re working to increase women’s retirement security by strengthening Social Security and supporting pension and savings protections.

While the wealthiest Americans have benefited for years from tax cuts and tax loopholes, investments vital to women and their families have been shortchanged. We're working for a fair and progressive tax system that raises the revenue needed to meet our shared priorities and expand opportunity for all.

In the past half century, a commitment to principles of nondiscrimination and equality has transformed the lives of women and their families and the nation as a whole. But much remains to be done to ensure that the promise of equal opportunity is fulfilled in women's lives. We're working to realize a broad vision for progress for women and their families.


Reports & Resources

For all publications, click here.


Center News

Affordable Care Act at 1: Being a Woman is No Longer Considered a “Pre-Existing Condition”
Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 11:46am


Affordable Care Act at 1: Being a Woman is No Longer Considered a “Pre-Existing Condition”

Women’s Groups Leading Series of Events in States, Netroots Action Tomorrow Highlighting How the Affordable Care Act Is Working to Improve Women’s Health

Washington DC – As this week marks the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, women’s groups will host a series of events in six states, netroots activity, and a national webinar to celebrate what the new health law means for women.

The schedule of activity taking place on Thursday, March 24th includes:

  • Events taking place in Washington, DC; Denver, CO; Tampa, FL; Des Moines, IA (with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin); Raleigh, NC; Albany, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Montpelier, VT, and local women telling their stories of how the Affordable Care Act is working for them.
  • Over 25 organizations will participate in a national webinar at 1:00 PM EDT about how the law benefits women. The webinar will feature special White House guests:
              Melody Barnes, the Director of the Domestic Policy Council and Domestic Policy Advisor to the President;
              Jeanne Lambrew, Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy
    Click here for more details:
  • Webinar at 3:00 PM EDT for small business women co-hosted by National Women’s Law Center, Small Business Majority, MomsRising, and National Partnership for Women and Families. Click here for more details:
  • Webinar at 12:30 PM EDT for doctors about how the health care law is benefiting women with the National Physicians Alliance and the National Women’s Law Center. Click here for more details:
  • MomsRising and National Women’s Law Center will conduct a 24 hour blog-a-thon (starting on the 23rd and ending on the evening of the 24th).
  • Coordinated email blasts with women’s organizations asking leaders to protect women’s health by keeping the health care law strong.
  • Coordinated Facebook updates and tweets by women’s organizations about how women are benefiting from the health care law.

Women’s organizations participating in the effort include: Advancing Women’s Health Initiative, American College of Nurse Midwives, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Women’s Association, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Childbirth Connection, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Ibis Reproductive Health, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform, MomsRising, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, 9 to 5 the National Association of Working Women, National Coalition for LGBT Health, National Council of Jewish Women, National Council for Research on Women, National Council of Women’s Organizations, National Health Law Program, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Physicians Alliance Foundation, National Women’s Law Center, Older Women’s League, Raising Women’s Voices, Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, and Women Heart.

This activity is coinciding with nearly 200 other events taking place across the country this week with seniors, small businesses and young people coming together to explain how they are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act now and to highlight what is at stake as opponents of the law work through Congress and the courts to repeal or overturn the law and put insurance companies back in charge of health care decisions for America’s families. Each event will demonstrate that now is the time to protect our care from those who would take away protections against pre-existing condition exclusions, prescription drug cost reductions, and expanded coverage for children, young adults and women.

Passage of the Affordable Care Act marked a new phase for women’s health in America. No more being charged higher premiums just because of her gender. No more being branded a pre-existing condition because of her Caesarean section or because she was the victim of domestic violence.

  • The Affordable Care Act ends unconscionable insurance company practices against women. Insurers will no longer be able to charge women higher premiums than men or drop women and their families from coverage if they get sick.
  • New security for essential care, such as maternity care. All new health plans will be required to cover health services important for women such as maternity care, newborn care and prescription drug benefits. A report in 2009 showed that only 13 percent of health plans sold in the individual health insurance market included maternity care.
  • No more co-pays for preventive services, such as mammograms. Because of the Affordable Care Act, Americans joining a new health plan or Medicare beneficiaries can receive recommended preventive services without a co-pay, deductible or any other out-of-pocket expense – covering services like mammograms, new baby care and well-child visits.


Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 11:28am

National Women's Law Center (NWLC) Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger is expected to testify later today in support of the Supreme Court nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan, saying that her "remarkable legal record" demonstrates that she would take an "open-minded" and "scrupulously fair" approach to legal questions before the Court.

Read more here! 

Standing Up for Social Security
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 11:45am

We are joining with dozens of other organizations to stand up for and strengthen our nation's Social Security system.

Read more here!

Women's Rights are Human Rights
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 11:44am

The United States is one of only seven countries in the world that has not yet ratified the Convention to End All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). We need President Obama to send a strong and urgent signal to the Senate that ratification of CEDAW this year is vital.

Take action by clicking here!

Women on the Bench: The Quality of Justice
Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 12:00pm

It's come up a lot: Elena Kagan would be the fourth woman Justice ever to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, and would, for the first time, join two other female Justices on the bench. It's worth thinking about why that matters.

A Step in the Right Direction for Wisconsin's Children
Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 11:58am

On June 23, the Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee voted to approve appropriations for YoungStar, a QRIS that will rank child care programs on a scale of one to five stars based on a 40-point quality indicator system.

Read more here!

Why Federal Assistance to States for Medicaid Is Important for Women
Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 3:18pm

In the next week, the Senate will vote on a bill that extends for six months increased federal funds for Medicaid known as FMAP-the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage-which is basically the funding that states get for the federal share of Medicaid. 

Read more here!

Tell Your Senators to Support Struggling Families
Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 3:17pm

The last time we checked, our economy hasn't fully rebounded, state budgets are still in dire straits, and too many families are living from paycheck to paycheck - if they are lucky enough to have a paycheck at all, and the health of too many families is at risk.

Read more here!

If There Is No One To Care For Their Children, Parents Cannot Go To Work
Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 3:17pm

A New York Times article recently highlighted the difficult choice many mothers in the U.S. are facing. As the recession persists and states make steep budget cuts, child care assistance programs may be among the many crucial programs affected.

 Read more here!

Study Claims that Title IX Has Hurt Men's Soccer . . . Really?
Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 3:16pm

The College Sports Council (CSC) released a study last week claiming that Title IX has hurt men's soccer. 

 Read more here!


Opportunities, Grants & Fellowships

Public Policy Fellowship

The fellow will work on a variety of issues, which may include: tax and budget policy, child care, income support, retirement security, education reform, equal education and employment opportunity, barriers for low-wage workers, and education

Employment Fellow

The fellow will focus on promoting opportunities for women and girls in school and at work. The issues may include improving graduation rates for girls, with a particular focus on low income girls, girls of color, and teen parents; addressing gender-based harassment and bullying; increasing gender equity in athletics, removing barriers for women in nontraditional education and job training; advocating for workplace fairness and equal pay. Responsibilities may include researching and analyzing policy and legal issues and drafting a variety of materials, such as memos, fact sheets, reports, comments on regulations, legal briefs.

Health Policy Fellow

As part of the Center’s work on women and health reform, the Health Fellow will work on a range of issues related to women’s access to health care, with particular emphasis on access to comprehensive and affordable health coverage for low-income women. Responsibilities will include gathering, analyzing and synthesizing research and data from a variety of sources; analyzing policy proposals; drafting reports and other written materials, and working with national and state-based coalitions on legislative and regulatory matters.