Generations of women's rights advocates have fought for full equality under the law for all women, and carried the torch of change forward day after day. We were once leaders in the fight for equality. And we're getting back in the game to complete the advancements for women envisioned more than 100 years ago by our founders. With our historic headquarters now preserved as a National Monument, the NWP is ready to once again work arm-in-arm with our community in the fight for the advancement of all women.
How Our Past Informs Our present
Founded in the crucial final years of the suffrage movement by visionary Alice Paul, the National Woman’s Party (NWP) played a groundbreaking role in securing passage of the 19th Amendment and women’s Constitutional right to vote. Started in 1913, the NWP built a membership of committed supporters that mobilized across the country in support of women’s suffrage, using many of the same tactics used today – protesting, marching, and organizing – to advance women’s rights.
Following ratification of the 19th Amendment, the NWP fought for full Constitutional equality for women, including drafting the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which has yet to be ratified. After 1920, the NWP strategically used legal, lobbying, and mobilization campaigns to advance equal rights in the United States and internationally. Members drafted legislation to end labor discrimination and pay inequity, researched and fought unequal laws related to marriage, citizenship, and property rights, and organized international women’s rights campaigns.
Today, the NWP educates the public about the women’s rights movement, using the outstanding historic feminist library and suffragist and ERA archives at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, to tell the inspiring story of a century of courageous activism by American women.The NWP firmly believes that passage and ratification of the ERA is the next, critically important step toward women’s equality. But our work won’t end there. The NWP will continue to work towards a world in which women are not only considered equal under the Constitution, but are treated equally in all aspects of life.
The goal of securing women’s rights under the Constitution remains unrealized. The NWP’s goal of full equality for women under the law, and the cornerstone campaign defining Alice Paul’s vision – the ERA – is within reach. Now, as issues of women’s equality have once again moved to the forefront, our history compels us to promote our founders’ vision to work tirelessly towards equality.
We take great inspiration from our founders and their impact on women's equality, yet we recognize that there are unacceptable parts of our history that we cannot ignore if we hope to move forward together. The National Woman's Party and the larger feminist movement of the last two centuries have a legacy of racism and classism that we must acknowledge, confront, and correct. As part of our new vision, we are committed to empowering a movement that is inclusive and that values voices that have long been ignored and marginalized. Our coalition of allies, stakeholders and partners, is representative of the people in this fight for equality and respects everyone who is working to create a world in which full equality for all women is a reality.
Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument
Since 1997, the National Woman's Party has operated a women's history museum from our headquarters on Capitol Hill, and we continue to do so today.
But things look a little different than they used to. In 2016, the historic Sewall-Belmont House, now known as the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument, was officially designated a national park site by President Barack Obama in a Presidential Proclamation.
The NWP still owns, preserves, and maintains our historic collection of artifacts, banners, clothing, records, photographs, scrapbooks, and papers that document the NWP’s campaigns; we are proud to continue to serve as the collection's keeper and guardian.
Our offices are still located in our historic headquarters, just as they have been since 1929. For nearly 90 years, the NWP has used the strategic location of the Monument on Capitol Hill to share our story and to advocate for women’s political, social, and economic equality.
Our partnership with the National Park Service has enabled us to reclaim our roots - inspiring action and empowering a movement for the full equality of all women. Visit us, and let the history of the NWP inspire you just as it inspires us each and every day.
The New NWP Logo
Students of the NWP's history will recognize the influence of our historic tricolor banners - one of the most iconic symbols of protest in the American women's movement - in our new design.
But this logo is more than just an homage to our past.
It is a commitment to our future.
Unveiled on Women's Equality Day 2018, our new logo, an equals sign painted with the brush strokes of our traditional protest banners, is a promise: with hope and purpose, equality for women is coming. This logo is a reminder that we are all friends in this fight. Forward together.
The NWP began marching and picketing in 1913, demanding equality for women in public spaces. And the banners they carried, branded with radical demands for the right to vote, were a key component of their tactic to spread simple, bold messages of equality and action. Think of them as the 1913 equivalent of a tweet.
This is where it gets really interesting.
The font in our new logo can't be found in Microsoft Word or downloaded from the Internet. This font is ours.
An incredible graphic designer (thanks, Christina!) created the font for us using the same letters that appear in our original 1913-1920 protest banners. And when we say the same letters, we mean the same letters. Christina digitally removed the letters you see in our logo from original photos of NWP members marching, picketing, and protesting with our banners. Cool, right?
Our new font, untouched and unchanged from the original protest banners, connects us to the humanity of our past in the slight variation of each word to the next. These letters were originally used to inspire and engage, to be bold and strong. And that is what we celebrate today with our new logo: our return to boldness, strength, and an unwavering commitment to equality.
Purple, gold, and white have been the NWP's official colors since 1913, and our new logo pays tribute to that rich and powerful legacy.
While the symbolism of the colors shifted throughout the years, and depended almost entirely on which NWP member you were talking to at the time, today, we proudly carry forward the history of the purple, gold, and white.
But now, it's with our own interpretation. Today, our mission is simple - use history to inspire the fight for full equality for all women.