About the CWLU
What is the Chicago Women's Liberation Union?

from Womankind, December 1972 (Womankind was the CWLU newspaper from 1971-1973)

The Chicago Women's Liberation Union is a radical women's liberation organization that is over three years old. We have over 300 members, and many different programs aimed at changing the lives of all women and building a new society in which all people will have the opportunity to develop their full potential.


Changing women's position in society is going to require changes in expectations, jobs, childcare, and education. It also means changing the distribution of power from the few having power over the rest of us to all people sharing power and sharing in the decisions that affect our lives. These are major, radical changes. We consider our struggle revolutionary because it will require a total restructuring of society, not merely making room for more women within this structure.

Our primary purpose is to attack sexism- -that's the systematic oppression of women for the benefit of the people in power. Sexism exists everywhere in this society -- for example, on the job, in family roles, and in the laws. We are fighting for changes in ourselves and other individuals, and in the institutions and policies that set up our lives in sexist patterns.

We do not think that women are the only people in this society who are oppressed, We think that it is easier for the people in power to keep women, blacks, Latins, and the poor and working people of this country down when we're fighting against each other instead of learning to work together against the unequal distribution of wealth and opportunity that comes with this arrangement of society - an arrangement where decisions are based on making profits, not on human needs.

We believe in democracy. By that we do not mean just voting in elections, but responsible participation of the people affected by a decision. We are trying to act on our ideas to test and improve them. Ours is not an organization that one just joins - - it is a working organization, trying to involve more people in change, and trying to create a society where our principles are at work.


  • LIBERATION SCHOOL FOR WOMEN The Liberation School for Women holds three sessions each year to help us learn, develop skills, and work together. For information, call the CWLU office 348-2011 or Sarah 935-9138 or Barbara 935-9628.

  • WOMANKIND The CWLU puts out a monthly newspaper, WOMANKIND, that spreads the ideas of women's liberation, talks about CWLU activities, and has a variety of other articles. Subscriptions are $4 a year .

  • HEALTH CARE The CWLU health project tries to meet some of the problems women face in health care. Part of this project includes pregnancy testing, and an abortion counseling service. The phone number for the counseling service is 643-3844; leave your name and phone number and you will be called back within two to four days. Call the CWLU office 348-2011l for the locations and times of pregnancy testing.

  • LEGAL PROGRAM Because of our second class status, women face many special legal problems. To combat these problems, the CWLU has a free Women's Legal Clinic, open every Wednesday night from 7 to 9 p.m. at the CWLU office.

  • RAPE PROJECT The Rape Project at the Sister Center, 1545 W. Morse in Rogers Park, has a crisis line where women who have been raped can call for someone to talk to, someone to go to the hospital with them, and if they want, someone to go to the police with them. The crisis line phone number is 728-1920. It is open from (6 pm to midnite, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday). .

  • JOB DISCRIMINATION We believe women must demand equal pay AND equal work (and we won't let them get away with lowering men's wages), the right to jobs in all classifications, the right to maternity and retraining if a woman decides to raise a family. Toward this end, the CWLU formed Women DARE (Direct Action for Rights in Employment). For information, call Jenny or Allyne 728-2089. .

  • COMMUNITY CENTERS At present three community centers provide pregnancy testing, tot lots, and other activities in local areas. The centers are in Hyde Park at 5500 5. Woodlawn in the Augustana Lutheran Church 947-8b20; in Rogers Park (The Sister Center) at 1545 W, Morse 262-2720; and in Evanston at 2214 Ridge 475-4480.

  • WOMEN'S ART AND MUSIC The Women's Graphics Collective is a group of women who design art work dealing with women's lives. The Chicago Women's Liberation Rock Band is a group of women musicians who perform music by and about women, and who have made an album, Mountain Moving Day. Call the CWLU office for information.

  • SPREADING THE WORD To tell people more about our organization, about women's liberation, abortion, children, and many other subjects, we have a speaker's bureau. We will come to schools, workplaces, and homes to talk with people who are interested. Call the CWLU office for information.

  • CHAPTERS Some women in the CWLU are also in chapters - groups of women who come together to talk or study and to give each other help and support.

The CWLU office is located at 852 W, Belmont. Our phone number is 348-2011. All women are encouraged to come by our office where there are posters and literature to buy, and someone to talk with about what we are doing and why - and how you can get involved, Phone calls are welcome too. We do not think it will be easy to change our society. But we do believe that if we work together, we will win. The Chicago Women's Liberation Union is a way for us to work together and experience, perhaps for the first time, the excitement and sense of purpose that comes when you are working with other women for a better life for everyone.