Our History

Founded in Washington, DC in 1975, the Network has been a leader in the larger women’s rights movement.

Celebrating 40 Years Photo

Our Roots

Starting with the 1970 Pill Hearings, women let it be known that they would no longer blindly accept what they were told by doctors, the medical establishment, or their government. A women’s health movement developed, knit together by hundreds of grassroots women’s health projects in communities across the United States.

45 years later, the Networks’ advocacy efforts and the independent health information we provide have made a difference in the lives of millions of women. Despite our successes, however, our work is far from done. Decades years after the first protest, we still need to raise our voices to say that women’s lives matter and women’s health matters!

1975: The First FDA Protest Our first public action was a protest at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on behalf of women who died because no one would give them information about the risks of the estrogen-containing drugs they were taking.

Continuing the fight

As times have changed, the Network has changed with them.

We understand that to remain true to our progressive and feminist roots, we must continually evaluate and update what we do and how we do it as the world changes around us.  
To this end, the board and staff came together in 2022 for strategic planning and refreshed our policy priorities to be more inclusive, impactful, and responsive to the nation’s health policy needs. Learn more by watching or listening to our live event, A Path Forward with the NWHN. 

We cannot continue this work without committed institutional and individual partners like you.