Feminist Majority Foundation

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The Feminist Majority Foundation is a non-profit feminist political advocacy group founded in 1987 and based in Arlington, Virginia. The group advocates and campaigns for gender equality, countering anti-feminist sentiment and training the next generation of feminists.


The name "Feminist Majority" comes from a 1986 Gallup public opinion poll in which 56% of women self-identified as feminists. Founder Eleanor Smeal chose this name to raise consciousness that feminists are the majority. The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) was created to develop bold, new strategies and programs to advance women's equality, non-violence, economic development, and, most importantly, empowerment of women and girls in all sectors of society. All programs of the FMF endeavor to include a global perspective and activities to encourage leadership development, in particular among young women. FMF's programs have focused on the empowerment of women in all areas of humanity.

The FMF largely supports safe, legal and accessible abortion, contraception, and family planning. The FMF is dedicated to achieving civil rights for all people, including affirmative action programs for women and people of color. The FMF supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. The FMF does not permit discrimination on the basis of sex, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religion, ethnicity, age, marital status, national origin, or disability. The FMF promotes non-violence and works to eliminate violence against women.


The Feminist Majority Foundation was founded in 1987. The FMF is a cutting edge organization dedicated to women's equality, reproductive health, and non-violence. The FMF utilizes research and action to empower women economically, socially, and politically. The organization believes that feminists - which encompass all ages and genders - are the majority and must be empowered.

Current objectives and activities

The Foundation's mission is to create innovative, cutting-edge research, educational programs, and strategies to further women's equality and empowerment, to reduce violence toward women, to increase the health and economic well-being of women, and to eliminate discrimination of all kinds.

The FMF plans events to spread the word and help women everywhere. The following are just a few events that the FMF has hosted:

The Women of Color Conference is an annual fall conference sponsored by the FMF’s Choices Campus Campaign. The 3rd Annual Women of Color Conference will bring together feminist, activist leaders in communities of color around the country to develop strategies and wield influence to affect real sociopolitical change. These student leaders will learn about various social justice issues, be provided with a space for women of color and allies to come together, and strategize for action as part of a larger movement for justice and equality.

The conference focuses on advocacy and activism to create political change through interactive dialogue, going beyond awareness-raising and empowerment. Topics addressed include global reproductive rights and health, education, media, environmental justice, health care reform, grassroots organizing, reproductive justice, violence against women, the economy, and equality.

The National Young Women’s Leadership conference is an annual spring conference for campus activists, many affiliated with FMF’s Choices Campus Campaign. It focuses on the impact young women have when it comes to domestic and global issues. Young feminist activists from around the nation gather to discuss some of today's most pressing issues including reproductive rights, the environment, LGBTQ rights, violence against women, communities of color, war, and the economy. Recent conference speakers included Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Lilly Ledbetter, Dr. Sima Samar, Dolores Huerta, Eleanor Smeal, Shelby Knox, and Representatives Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Carolyn Maloney, and Eleanor Holmes Norton.

The Global Women's Rights Awards are given annually to a select few individuals who have contributed significantly – often against great odds and at great personal risk – to advance the rights of women and girls and to increase awareness of the injustices women face on account of their gender. The 2009 Awards honored Christiane Amanpour; Abigail Disney, Gini Reticker and Leymah Gbowee; Neal Baer and Mariska Hargitay; Billie Heller; and the One Million Signatures Campaign.

Organizational structure

The FMF is led by President Eleanor Smeal. Their past and current research and action programs focus on advancing the legal, social and political equality of women with men in response to the backlash to women's advancement, and recruiting and training young feminists to encourage young individuals for future leadership for the feminist movement in the United States.

In order to make all of this happen, FMF takes part in research and public policy development, public education programs, grassroots organizing projects, leadership training and development programs, and participates in and organizes forums on issues of women's equality and empowerment. The FMF's sister organization, the Feminist Majority, lobbies, while directly working in other political action and pursuing equality between women and men through legislative avenues.


In the late 1980s, the Feminist Majority Foundation produced an award-winning video, Abortion for Survival. The video opens with the performance of a 6-weeks abortion, taking 1 minute 24 seconds. Abortion for Survival reviews the need for abortion worldwide because of the lack of access to affordable contraception and the desire of women to limit their family size or control births. The videotape is awarded the prestigious Cine Golden Eagle award in 1989.

Public perception and controversies

The FMF deals with controversial issues. A recent example of this controversy was a photoshopped image of Barack Obama ripping his clothes off like Superman to reveal a T-shirt that reads: “THIS IS WHAT A FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE” on the cover of a special inaugural issue of the FMF's Ms. Magazine. The cover made many feminists upset. Ms. states the concept was born out of a meeting Feminist Majority Foundation chairwoman Peg Yorkin and Ms. had with Obama, in which the President-Elect purportedly told them: “I am a feminist". Many saw the cover as mockery to feminists, especially following the defeat of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries.