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Sommers, Tish | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Sommers, Tish

Historical Note:

Tish Sommers was most known as an advocate of women's rights, especially older women's rights. She chaired NOW's Task Force on Older women in the 1970s, and in 1980 founded the Older Women's League (OWL). OWL is an advocacy organization with chapters across the country which has had political influence on many issues of importance to older women such as Social Security, pensions, health care and health insurance.

Sommers spent the majority of her life as a homemaker, though she was always active in volunteer work which involved a cause, such as poverty, or civil rights. After her divorce at the age of 57 she worked primarily for the rights of older women. She was influential in the founding of the Alliance for Displaced Homemakers which was responsible for taking many older women's issues to the White House, and for establishing a federal program for "displaced homemakers," a term she coined which describes the status of women who have lost their financial support through divorce or illness, and whose skills are not easily marketable.

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