The President today announced the appointment of former New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug as presiding officer of the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year. He also announced that former First Lady Betty Ford will serve on the Commission.
The President has signed on Executive order increasing the maximum number of members on the Commission from 35 to 42. Members of the Commission and the presiding officer serve without compensation.
Congress has authorized the Commission to sponsor 56 State and territorial meetings on the rights and responsibilities of women by mid-July. A National Women's Conference scheduled for November 18-21, 1977, in Houston, Tex., will include representatives selected by the 56 meetings and appointed by the IWY Commission.
The National Conference will draw up recommendations for ending the barriers to women's equality In the United States. Their report will be submitted to the President and to Congress in March 1978.
The members of the Commission are:
BELLA S. ABZUG, of New York, N.Y., presiding officer--former U.S. Congresswoman (DN.Y.); attorney; founder and former chair, National Women's Political Caucus; U.S. delegate to the U.N. World Conference on IWY in Mexico City, July 1975.
RUTH J. ABRAM, of New York, N.Y.--executive director, Women's Action Alliance; former program director, American Civil Liberties Union; executive director, the Norman Foundation.
MAYA ANGELOU, of Sonoma, Calif.--poet, actress, playwright; author, "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" and "And Still I Rise" (Broadway musical opening in autumn, 1977).
ELIZABETH ATHANASAKOS, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.--practicing attorney; former municipal judge; former presiding officer, IWY Commission, 1976.
BETTY BLANTON, of Nashville, Tenn.--First Lady of Tennessee; member, 51.3% Committee.
LIZ CARPENTER, of Austin, Tex.--co-chair, ERAmerica; public relations executive; former press secretary to Lady Bird Johnson.
JOHN MACK CARTER, of New York, N.Y.--editor-in-chief, Good Housekeeping magazine; former editor, Ladies' Home Journal, McCall's, American Home, and assistant editor, Better Homes and Gardens.
SEYMOUR M. CHASSLER, of New York, N.Y.-editor-in-chief, Redbook magazine; former editor, McCall's magazine.
RUTH C. CLUSEN, of Green Bay, Wis.--president, National League of Women Voters; alternate U.S. delegate to the U.N. World Conference on IWY in Mexico City, July 1975.
AUDREY ROWE COLOM, of Washington, D.C.-president, National Women's Political Caucus; director of women's activities, Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
JANE CULBRETH, of Leeds, Ala.--president, National Federation of Business and Professional
Women's Clubs, Inc.; corporate officer and secretary, Moss-Thornton Co.
HARRY T. EDWARDS, of Boston, Mass.--professor of law, Harvard Law School; former professor, University of Michigan Law School; professional labor arbitrator.
BEVERLY EVERETT, of New Sharon, Iowa-Iowa State president, American Association of University Women; member, Iowa Commission on the Future; activist on agriculture and rural development issues.
MARCH K. FONG EU, of Sacramento, Calif.-secretary of state for California; former president and life member, American Dental Hygienists' Association; member, California Consumer Affairs Council.
BETTY FORD, of Palm Springs, Calif.--former First Lady of the United States.
BERNICE S. FRIEDER, of Lakewood, Ohio-former officer, National Council of Jewish Women; honorary life member, National Association, State Boards of Education.
MARTHA GRIFFITHS, of Romeo, Mich.--member of law firm Griffiths and Griffiths; Member of Congress, 1955-1975.
DOROTHY HAENER, of Detroit, Mich.--international representative, women's department, United Auto Workers; board member, National Committee on Household Employment; founder and past board member, National Organization for Women and the National Women's Political Caucus.
RHEA MOJICA HAMMER, of Chicago, Ill.--businesswoman; journalist-newspaper publisher of El-Charin; consultant, Latino Unlimited; founder, National Latino Media Coalition.
LADONNA HARRIS, of Albuquerque, N. Mex.-president, Americans for Indian Opportunity; member, Common Cause.
LENORE HERSHEY, of New York, N.Y.--editor-in-chief, Ladies' Home Journal; creator and executive producer of the annual "Women of the Year" television show.
KORYNE HORBAL, of Minneapolis, Minn.-chair, Women's Caucus, Democratic National Committee; Democratic National Committeewoman.
MILDRED JEFFREY, of Detroit, Mich.--chair, Democratic Women's Task Force, National Women's Political Caucus; board member, Consumer Federation of America; founder, Coalition of Labor Union Women.
JEFFALYN JOHNSON, of Arlington, Va.--management consultant; former associate director, dean and senior professor, Federal Executive Institute.
CORETTA SCOTT KING, of Atlanta, Ga.--civil rights worker; founder, Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Center, Atlanta; Dag Hammarskjold Award, 1969.
MARY ANN KRUPSAK, of Canajoharie, N.Y.-lieutenant governor, State of New York; former representative, New York State Assembly.
MARGARET J. MEALEY, of Washington, D.C.-executive director, National Council of Catholic Women; former member, Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women; White House Conferences on Children and Youth, on Aging, and on Food, Nutrition and Health.
JEAN O'LEARY, of New York, N.Y.--co-executive director, National Gay Task Force.
MILDRED E. PERSINGER, of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.-representative of Worldwide and National Board of the Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A. at the United Nations; organizing chair of the Tribune of the UN World Conference on IWY in Mexico City, July 1975.
CONNIE PLUNKETT, of Carrollton, Ga.--member, Democratic National Committee; former city councilwoman, Carrollton; former vice-chair, Georgia Democratic Party; deputy campaign director, Carter-Mondale Campaign.
ERSA POSTON, Loudonville, N.Y.--commissioner and past president, New York Civil Service Commission; former member, U.S. delegation to the United Nations General Assembly.
CECELIA DEBURCIAGO PRECIADO, of Palo Alto, Calif.--assistant to the president, Stanford University; researcher and writer; consultant; educator.
CLAIRE RANDALL, of New York, N.Y.--general secretary, National Council of Churches in Christ in the U.S.A.; former associate executive, Church Women United; church educator; artist; designer.
ALICE S. Rossi, of Amherst, Mass.--chair, board of directors, Social Science Research Council, New York; former chair, National Committee on the Status of Women; author, "The Feminist Papers" and many other articles.
GLORIA SCOTT, of Houston, Tex.--national president, Girl' Scouts of America; professor of higher education, Texas Southern University; board of directors, National Urban League.
ELEANOR SMEAL, of Pittsburgh, Pa.--chair of the board, National Organization for Women; homemaker.
JEAN STAPLETON, of Los Angeles, Calif.--actress, "All in the Family;" motion picture credits include "Up the Down Staircase," "Cold Turkey," "Klute," " Damn Yankees;" summer performances at Totem Pole Playhouse, Fayetteville, Pa.
GLORIA STEINEM, of New York, N.Y.--editor, MS magazine; chair of the board, Women's Action Alliance; founder, National Women's Political Caucus.
ETHEL TAYLOR, of Bala-Cynwyd, Pa.--national coordinator, Women's Strike for Peace.
CARMEN DELGADO VOTAW, Of Bethesda, Md.-president, National Conference of Puerto Rican Women; board of Overseas Education Fund, League of Women Voters; member, Hispanic First Federal Credit Union.
GERRIDEE WHEELER, of Bismarck, N. Dak.-past president, National Association for Mental Health; member, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Secretary's Advisory Committee on the Rights and Responsibilities of Women.
ADDIE WYATT, of Chicago, Ill.--vice president, Coalition of Labor Union Women; vice president, Amalgamated Meatcutters and Butcher Workmen of North America; Citizens for Day Care, Illinois.
In addition to the members appointed by the President, the Commission includes two Senators and two Members of the House of Representatives, who are designated by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, respectively. They are:
SENATOR BIRCH BAYH (D-Ind.)
SENATOR CHARLES PERCY (R-Ill.)
REPRESENTATIVE MARGARET HECKLER (R-Mass.)
REPRESENTATIVE ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN (D-N.Y.)