The Rights of Women

The Authoritative ACLU Guide to Women’s Rights, Fourth Edition

432 pages

April, 2009

ISBN: 9780814752296



Also available in


LawWomen's & Gender Studies

Part of the ACLU Handbook series


Lenora M. Lapidus is the Director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union.

All books by Lenora M. Lapidus

Emily J. Martin is the Deputy Director of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project.

All books by Emily J. Martin

Namita Luthra is a former staff attorney at the ACLU Women’s Rights Project.

All books by Namita Luthra

The Rights of Women is a comprehensive guide that explains in detail the rights of women under present U.S. law, and how these laws can be used in the continuing struggle to achieve full gender equality at home, in the workplace, at school, and in society at large. The Rights of Women explores the concept of equal protection and covers topics including employment, education, housing, and public accommodations. This handbook also examines the specific issues of trafficking, violence against women, welfare reform, and reproductive freedom.

Using a straightforward question-and-answer format while translating the law into accessible language, this volume is a tool for individuals, lawyers, and advocates seeking to assert women’s rights under the law.

Now in its fully revised and updated fourth edition, The Rights of Women is an invaluable guide to finding legal solutions to the most pressing issues facing women today.


  • "Accessible and easy to read. From athletics and birth control to violence and welfare, you'll find answers you need to questions you didn't even know you had."

    —Kim A. Gandy, President, National Organization for Women

  • "[This book] is an indispensable resource that can help all of us who are working to advance equal rights and help women overcome discrimination. It is a highly effective, accessible explanation of the law that can empower advocates and leaders alike."

    —Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

  • "An important and much-needed guide to contemporary women’s rights law. It covers a wide range of critical subjects with intelligence and clarity. It is straightforward, accessible and well-written. I highly recommend it as an essential guide to laypeople and lawyers alike."

    —Elizabeth M. Schneider, author of Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking

  • "This book fills a great need—and does so in an impressively lucid, straight-forward and helpful way. It’s a must-have for anyone who cares about improving the lives of women now, and for generations to come."

    —Marcia D. Greenberger, co-president, National Women’s Law Center

  • “Given its purpose and audience, the strengths of this handbook are that it is enormously practical and accessible . . . I’d recommend it not just for academic and public libraries, but also for personal libraries, especially if there are young women in the household.”

    Feminist Collections