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

The Recession's Deepening Toll on Women
Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 2:35pm

A congressional briefing to release the findings of a major new poll showing that a majority of Americans believe the government should play a larger role in shaping our economy and creating jobs.

Date and Time: June 24, 2010; 9:30 -11 a.m.
Location: U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Congressional Meeting Room North
 To RSVP or for more information, please contact Tamanna Mansury at 301-656-0348 or

The Nomination of Elena Kagan as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 11:19am

President Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens as an Associate Justice on the U. S. Supreme Court.

Read more here!

Supreme Court Nominee Solicitor General Elena Kagan "Exceptionally Qualified," Says NWLC
Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 5:27pm


For Immediate Release: May 10, 2010
Contact: Karen Schneider or Maria Patrick, 202-588-5180


(Washington, D.C.)   The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) today praised Solicitor General Elena Kagan, President Obama’s nominee to the U.S Supreme Court, as “an exceptionally qualified” person who is known for fair-mindedness and possesses considerable legal skills. If confirmed, Solicitor General Kagan would fill the seat of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

“Today, President Obama has nominated an exceptionally qualified woman to replace Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court,” said NWLC Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger.
Elena Kagan was confirmed as Solicitor General of the United States by the Senate just over a year ago.  She is the first woman to hold this position in the country’s history. Before her appointment as Solicitor General, Kagan had a distinguished academic career.  She received tenure at the University of Chicago Law School and then at Harvard Law School and was the first woman to serve as Dean of Harvard Law.  During the Clinton Administration, she served as Associate Counsel to President Clinton and as Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council.
“We have known Elena Kagan for many years and have the greatest respect for her outstanding accomplishments, considerable legal skills, and fair-mindedness,” Greenberger said.
With Elena Kagan’s confirmation, there would be three women Justices on the nine-person Court – the most in history. “We applaud the President for selecting a nominee of such accomplishment who would bring a wealth of experience that would help the Court better reflect both the composition of the legal profession and, most importantly, the people of this country,” said NWLC Co-President Nancy Duff Campbell.
If confirmed to replace Justice Stevens, Solicitor General Kagan will have extraordinary shoes to fill. “Justice Stevens was a ringing voice for equal justice on the Court,” Campbell said. “He was a force on behalf of people throughout this country when their rights were threatened, when governments sought to intrude into their most personal and private decisions, when statutes were interpreted in ways that disadvantaged the very people they were intended to protect, and when conservative majorities were quick to abandon the Court’s own precedents.
“The confirmation process will allow the Senate and the American people the opportunity to learn even more about this very impressive woman and public servant,” she added.
The National Women’s Law Center has extensive expertise in the legal issues of central importance to women and in how Supreme Court rulings have affected women and their families, in areas such as the constitutional right to privacy, federal anti-discrimination protections that apply at work and at school, the constitutional guarantee of equal protection, and Congress’ ability to enact health, safety and economic and social welfare legislation. 
To interview Marcia Greenberger about this nomination, contact: Karen Schneider, kschneider@nwlc.orgor Maria Patrick, or by calling 202.588.5180.



The Fight For Healthcare Reform Continues - NWLC Statement
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - 4:49pm

Washington, DC – January 20, 2010  The following is a statement by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):


“Reports of the death of healthcare reform are greatly exaggerated."


“The key reason why health reform is not dead—and cannot be dead—is that the 31 million plus reasons why we need health reform did not disappear with yesterday’s news of the Massachusetts Senatorial election. The problems of a dearth of affordable health care, rampant insurance discrimination, gender rating, and insurance coverage that doesn’t meet the needs of women are still here." 


“For women, the reasons why the healthcare reform fight must continue are particularly acute. Insurance discrimination for women with pre-existing conditions, like Chris Turner is still here. Turner couldn’t get health insurance at any price because she had received treatment as a sexual assault survivor." 

“Skimpy or non
-existent maternity coverage, like Sarah Wildman faced, is still here. Wildman spent $22,000 on the birth of her baby due to her insufficient health coverage."


“A woman like Peggy Robertson can still be denied coverage for having had a C-section. And Karen Harriman, a small business owner with an almost entirely female workforce, will still pay more to insure her employees simply because they are women. These practices must stop."


“Make no mistake, we remain determined. While yesterday’s election results may have been a surprise, an even bigger surprise awaits those who would say that health reform is dead. The fight for health reform is far from over."



NWLC Releases Online Ad To Stop Extreme Abortion Restrictions
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - 4:43pm

Video to mobilize Americans to call on Congress to pass legislation that includes insurance coverage for abortion care 

Washington, DC – January 7, 2010 – Today, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) released a new video on the extreme restrictions on abortion coverage in pending legislation as part of its public awareness campaign addressing health care reform, “Being a Woman is Not a Pre-Existing Condition.” 

The video is a call to action to those who value women’s health to fight efforts by U.S. Rep. Stupak (D-MI), Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) and others who want to take away women’s abortion coverage in the new health insurance marketplace. The video calls on Americans to urge their Senators and Representatives to protect women’s health and access to reproductive health care including abortion care in the final health care bill.

The aim of Stupak and his supporters is to prevent women from using their own personal funds to purchase an insurance plan that includes abortion coverage in the new health insurance exchanges—taking away essential coverage that most insurance plans provide today. The Senate provision authored by Senator Nelson also contains an unworkable and unfair approach to abortion coverage by imposing arbitrary and burdensome hurdles to secure access to abortion care.

“Women’s reproductive health care needs must not be used as a pawn in the effort to pass health care reform – period,” said NWLC Co-President Marcia Greenberger. “Through this video and our campaign, NWLC is mobilizing Americans to urge their Members of Congress not to take away coverage for abortion care that women currently have.”

The video features footage of Stupak discussing his amendment to restrict abortion coverage with “translations” pointing out his real impact such as “I can’t repeal Roe v. Wade, but I can do the next best thing: get rid of abortion coverage in health care reform” and “It should be impossible for anyone to get insurance that covers abortion.” The video calls on viewers to tell Congress to pass health care reform that works for women—including coverage of abortion.

The video, found at, will be circulated widely through social media networks and paid online media.



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.