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1977 National Women's Conference: A Question of Choices

1977 National Women's Conference is a one-hour wrap-up of the three-day historic gathering on women's rights held in Houston, November 18-21, 1977. Broadcast nationwide on the last day of the conference, only hours after the final session had concluded, the documentary takes a behind-the-scenes look at the various caucus and coalition meetings as well as major events of the conference itself, both official and unofficial, including a counter-convention seven miles away organized by groups who opposed the NWC. The program covers not only the key and controversial issues voted upon by the more than 2,000 delegates -- such as the Equal Rights Amendment, child care, abortion, sexual preference, employment, racial and ethnic minority women's rights, battered wives and rape -- but also the less controversial subjects (homemaker's rights, health, insurance) in order to provide the most accurate portrayal of the conference as a whole. Pre-produced packages such as graphics illustrating statistics and other problems addressed by conference resolutions; mini biographies of some of the key conference leaders; and delegates at work in caucuses prior to the official conference debates were inserted in order to clarify the issues and outcome of the final votes for the television viewers.

The program includes excerpts of addresses of speakers to both the National Women's conference and the opposition rally. The program begins with footage of the crowds at the conference reacting to calls to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The host details what lead to the conference being held and the issues discussed and voted on. State and international delegates attended the conference. The host goes over statistics of women in government, women working, and the pay gap for women. She introduces some of the key figures at the conference and opposition rally, and excerpts from speakers follow. Speakers to the NWC include Rosalynn Carter, Betty Ford, Bella Abzug, Lady Bird Johnson, Barbara Jordan, Audrey Colom, Claire Randall, Gerridee Wheeler, Cecilia Burciaga, Gloria Steinem, Lenore Hershey and Jean O'Leary. Speakers to the opposition rally include Lottie Beth Hobbs, Nellie Gray, Dr. Mildred Jefferson, Phyllis Schlafly and R.K. Dornan. The program also includes excerpts of speeches and debates from delegates to the National Women's Conference.

Country, Year United States, 1977
DirectorChristi Collier
CastSusan Caudill, Ellie Smeal, Betty Ford, Barbara Jordan, Gloria Steinem, Phyllis Schlafly
ProducerNazaret Cherkezian, Susan Caudill
Runtime60 MINS, SECS