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Our Values



In 1977, two thousand delegates from 50 states and six territories, one-third of them women of color, met in Houston for the National Women's Conference Committee.  Delegates brought action priorities from their local conventions.  At the close of the conference, they adopted the 1977 National Plan of Action, 26 Points that target issues that impact women and their families.

In 2022, SDANW organizers reviewed that plan and found that 45 years after the plan was first adopted, all of those issues are still important obstacles to women's full participation in American life.

The 1977 National Plan of Action is a historic document that serves as a statement of SDANW's values.  That and our continuing resolutions are the basis for determining the annual legislative priorities.  Our actions may exceed these goals but may never retreat from them.

In participating in SDANW activities, individuals and organizations do not have to agree to support every plank in the national plan.  They must, however, agree not to actively oppose any of those 26 points.

The National Plan of Action

from the 1977 National Women’s Conference


  1. Arts and Humanities:  Equitable representation in management, governance, and decision-making structures in libraries, museums, media, and higher education, blind-judging whenever possible.

  2. Battered Women:  Elimination of violence in the home through emerging shelters, training and intervention, strengthening and enforcement of laws; legal services for victims.

  3. Business:  Support for women entrepreneurs through government-related activities and contracts; inclusion of women-owned businesses in SBA targeting.

  4. Child Abuse:  Support for prevention and treatment of abused children including training for public awareness, parent counseling, service and justice agencies.

  5. Child Care:  Federally supported efforts and legislation at all levels to promote quality childcare programs; labor and business support; education for parenthood.

  6. Credit:  Education and enforcement of provisions of the 1974 Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

  7. Disabled Women:  Enforcement and expansion of legislation on education, employment, housing, and support services recognizing the special needs of disabled women.

  8. Education:  Enforcement of laws prohibiting discrimination at all levels of education; special consideration for physical education, leadership positions, vocational training, elimination of sex and race stereotyping.

  9. Elective and Appointive Office:  Joint effort by federal and state administrations, political parties, organizations and foundations to increase women in office, policy-making positions and judgeships.

  10. Employment:  A federal full employment policy; enforcement and extension of anti-discrimination laws; efforts by governments, institutions, business, industry and unions to reduce occupational segregation and promote upward mobility; special attention to minority women; amendment of the Veteran’s Preference Act; extension of the labor standards and the right to unionize; support for flextime jobs; extension of the data base.

  11. Equal Rights Amendment:  Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

  12. Health:  Establishment of a national health security program acknowledging the special needs of women; improved community facilities, contraceptive research, reproductive services, substance abuse efforts, representation in professions and on policy boards; increased review of drugs, custodial care, surgical procedures.

  13. Homemakers:  Revise marital property, social security, and pension laws; in divorce provide for children’s needs and sharing of economic burden; support displaced homemaker programs.

  14. Insurance:  Adoption by states of Model Regulation to Eliminate Unfair Sex Discrimination of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners amended to cover pregnancy, newborns, policy conversions.

  15. International Affairs:  Increased U.S. support and participation by women in foreign policy, UN Commission on the Status of Women, development programs, international human rights treaties and conventions, peace and disarmament, international education and communication, and the International Women’s Decade.

  16. Media:  Increased opportunity for women in professional and policy-making roles; enforcement of anti-discrimination laws; improvement of the image of women in the mass media.

  17. Minority Women:  Recognition that every Plan recommendation applies fully to all minority women with recognition of additional burdens through institutionalized bias and inadequate data; enforcement of anti-discrimination laws as they affect education, housing, health, employment; recognition of special needs of America Indian/Alaskan Native women, Asian/Pacific American women, Hispanic women, Puerto Rican women, Black women.

  18. Offenders:  Review of sentencing laws and practices with discriminatory effects on women in penal facilities; address legal, counseling, health, educational needs of women, especially mothers and juvenile offenders.

  19. Older Women:  Support by governments, public and private institutions of services promoting dignity and security in housing, health services, transportation, education, social security; recognition of the contributions of homemaking, the changing image of older women and their capacity to contribute to policy-making.

  20. Rape:  Revised criminal codes to correct inequities against rape victims; review of practices following rape emphasizing supports for victims; rape crisis centers and prevention and self-protection programs; support for National center for the Prevention and Control of Rape; victim compensation.

  21. Reproductive Freedom:  Support for U.S. Supreme Court decision guaranteeing reproductive freedom, making certain all methods of family planning are available to all women under privately or publicly funded medical services; opposition to involuntary sterilization; full access to family planning and education in responsible sexuality for teens; full education programs with child care for teen parents.

  22. Rural Women:  Rural education policy to meet isolation, poverty and under-employment affecting women and girls; improved data; full ownership rights for farm wives; review of conditions affecting plantation and migratory workers; programs acknowledging minority needs.

  23. Sexual Preference:  Legislation eliminating discrimination based on sexual preference in employment, housing, public accommodations, credit, public facilities, funding, military; repeal of laws restricting private behavior between consenting adults; evaluation of child custody suits based solely on parenting capacity.

  24. Statistics:  Analysis of all data collected by the government on the basis of sex and race to assess impact of programs on women.

  25. Welfare and Poverty:  Focus on welfare and poverty by federal and state governments as major women’s issues compounding inequality of opportunity; support for welfare reform program considering social security; childcare, education, minimum wage, job opportunities, health insurance and legal services; federal floor to ensure an adequate standard of living based on National Academy of Science recommended minimum income level; support and extension of CETA provisions for women.

  26. Continuing Committee of the Conference:  Establishment of a body under Public Law 94-167 to consider steps to achieve recommendations of this conference and to convene a second conference.


In 1977, 56 state and territorial conventions forwarded the recommendations summarized above for amendment and ratification by 2000 delegates to the National Women’s Conference in Houston. Apart from gender, at the time, this was the most diverse body ever assembled in the U.S.


The South Dakota Advocacy Network for Women adopted this document as a statement of values and as the basis for its advocacy work.

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