Planks

The National Women’s Conference developed a plan to address and vote on twenty-six issues that impact women in the United States. Those planks, as they were called, are reprinted here from conference papers.

Arts and humanities: Women should have equal opportunities in federal posts and equal access to arts grants.

Battered women: A national clearinghouse must be created to support local organizations helping battered women and working to prevent domestic violence.

Business: More government contracts to women-owned businesses, which numbered less than one percent in 1977.

Child abuse: More prevention, treatment and protective services.

Child care: Care must be low cost and high quality.

Credit: The Equal Credit Opportunity Act must be enforced to make sure that women are no longer denied credit on the basis of gender.

Disabled women: Equal access to education, training, employment and child custody rights.

Education: More women in leadership positions and in textbooks. Title IX must be enforced.

Elective and appointive office: More representation of women.

Employment: More job opportunities and less discrimination.

Equal Rights Amendment: The ERA must be ratified.

Health: Health insurance benefits must include family planning and other concerns relevant to women.

Homemakers: Must be covered under Social Security and have greater economic security, especially in the event of divorce or the death of a spouse.

Insurance: Eliminate practices that deny women coverage on the basis of gender.

International affairs: Increase the number of women in the departments of state and defense, aid women in developing nations and promote nuclear disarmament.

Media: More women in media jobs, especially in leadership positions.

Minority women: Eliminate discrimination, support affirmative action, guarantee tribal rights and prevent deportation of mothers of American-born children.

Offenders: Improve health services and educational and vocational training.

Older women: Help older women live with dignity.

Rape: Expand the definition of rape to include married men who abuse their wives and reduce legal burdens on victims.

Reproductive freedom: Support Roe v. Wade, promote family planning and allow Medicaid payments for abortion.

Rural women: Create a federal rural education policy and expand ownership rights for farm wives.

Sexual preference: Implement legislation to eliminate discrimination on the basis of sexual preference and repeal state laws restricting private sexual behavior between consenting adults.

Statistics: Federal agencies should collect and analyze data in ways that assess the impact on women.

Women, welfare and poverty: Improve social security and retirement systems, raise minimum wage, provide child care and focus on welfare and poverty as major women’s issues.

Continuing committee of the conference: Create a committee to follow up on recommendations and take steps to convene a Second National Women’s Conference.