Freedom on Our Terms: A New Agenda for Women and Girls

Houston National Women's Conference

In 1977, over 20,000 people gathered in Houston, Texas at the National Women’s Conference to evaluate gender discrimination in America and to develop recommendations for reform. Never before had such a diverse group of women gathered in one place to share the realities of their lives, educating each other about the unique challenges they faced as a result of violence, poverty, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, geography, and physical disability. Under the leadership of its Presiding Officer, Bella Abzug, conference delegates enacted a comprehensive National Action Plan, consisting of twenty-six planks focused on the many fundamental and crucial issues faced by American women and including calls for action on equal rights, reproductive rights, and lesbian rights.

BCRW joins with The Bella Abzug Leadership Institute and Girls Speak Out Foundation as they present a two-day conference to build on the achievements of the National Women’s Conference. Participants represent a diverse and intergenerational group of feminist activists, including participants and delegates from the original 1977 National Women’s Conference, as well as representatives from other countries. The conference includes interactive panels and presentations focused on feminist activism, cultural performances celebrating women of all ages, and a substantive follow-up network charged with monitoring progress made towards the conference’s eponymously titled plan of action: “Freedom on Our Terms: A New Agenda for Women and Girls, 30 Years after the National Women’s Conference.”

The anniversary conference promises to be a vibrant cultural event that highlights the power, excitement, achievements and spirit of the feminist movement. By providing feminist activists of different generations a forum for dialogue, debate, and advocacy, this event aims to strengthen the connection between older and younger feminists and women of all backgrounds. It will truly celebrate the enduring spirit of the National Women’s Conference by inspiring women to proudly carry forward a women’s rights agenda in the 21st century.

For registration and additional information please visit the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute website.