Eleanor Smeal

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Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

"For over 30 years, Smeal has been on the frontlines fighting for women’s equality. She has been at the forefront of almost every major women’s rights victory – from the integration of Little League, newspaper help-wanted ads, and police departments to the passage of landmark legislation, such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Equal Credit Act, Civil Rights Restoration Act, Violence Against Women Act, Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, and Civil Rights Act of 1991. She has pushed to make Social Security and pensions more equitable for women, and to realign federal priorities by developing a feminist budget. She has campaigned to close the wage gap and to achieve pay equity for the vast majority of women who are segregated in low-paying jobs.

"As President of the National Organization for Women, Eleanor Smeal led the drive to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), the largest nationwide grassroots and lobbying campaign in the history of the modern women’s movement. The ERA campaign reshaped the contours of women’s political participation in the U.S. and demonstrated the strength and breadth of public support for women’s rights. Ultimately, the ERA’s defeat exposed the entrenched interests opposed to women’s equality...

"Smeal also pioneered the use of the Internet as a feminist organizing and research tool by launching the Feminist Majority Foundation Online (www.feminist.org) in 1995. The site receives up to 300,000 hits daily, with an especially strong following among women ages 18-24, has garnered dozens of awards, and is widely recognized as an unparalleled resource for feminist news, research, actions, and events...

"In December 2001, Smeal, feminist author and activist, Gloria Steinem, and Ms. magazine joined forces and FMF became the sole publisher of Ms. magazine. Smeal's commitment to achieving equality for women and her vision for Ms. as the voice of the feminist movement brings new life into the 30-year trailblazing history of the magazine. Through this combination, Ms. will continue to be a forum for challenging conventional ideas and a springboard for the development and dissemination of feminist ideas throughout the world." [1]

Her daughter is Lori Smeal.


Thesis Prepared for the Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS, August 2000.

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation, accessed May 25, 2009.
  2. Executive Committee, National Council of Women's Organizations, accessed September 14, 2010.
  3. Contact, Ms. magazine, accessed November 19, 2011.