August 26, 1970 - Women's Strike for Equality
Union Square, San Francisco
On the 50th anniversary of women winning the vote, Betty Friedan and the National Organization of Women (NOW) spearheaded the Women’s Strike for Equality, a call for feminists around the country to organize, make our presence known and our demands heard. It was up to individual Women's Rights Movement groups to choose what they wanted to do. Women in New York, Washington DC, and Boston held marches. In San Francisco feminists organized a rally in Union Square.

 It turned out to be one of the largest women’s movement rallies in the country that day, but in the lead up to the event we hadn’t known what to expect. The San Francisco Chronicle, the city's primary newspaper, had vehemently denounced the event for weeks beforehand and published a scathing editorial the morning of the event, condemning the rally before it had even begun.  

To our amazement, 2,000 people crammed into the square to hear about the importance of accessible child care, decriminalizing abortion, the toxic intersection of sexism and racism in the lives of women of color, and the need to recognize the contribution lesbians had made in the fight for equality. W
omen in the crowd looked at each other with expressions of wonder. It was hard to take in all the cheering and support we were witnessing. It felt less like a rally and more of a homecoming.
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