Meredith Tax has been a writer and political activist since the late 1960s. She was a member of Bread and Roses, an early socialist-feminist group in Boston, and her 1970 essay, “Woman and Her Mind: The Story of Everyday Life,” is considered a founding document of the US women’s liberation movement. She was active in the antiwar movement and the left in the Seventies, when she worked in several factories and as a nurses’ aide in Chicago and was active in the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union. In 1976 she moved to New York, a single mother, and in 1977 was founding cochair of the Committee for Abortion Rights and Against Sterilization Abuse (CARASA), which helped start the Reproductive Rights National Network, of which she was a steering committee member. She also was a parent initiator of an alternative public elementary school in District 3 in New York.
Tax has written a history book, The Rising of the Women: Feminist Solidarity and Class Conflict, 1880–1917 (1980; 2001); two historical novels, Rivington Street (1982; 2001) and Union Square (1988; 2001), and a children’s picture book, Families (1981; 1996, 1998), which became a censorship case in 1993 when it was attacked by the Christian Coalition for its nontraditional approach to family structure. She has also written many political and literary essays, for The Nation among other journals. Her most recent works are Double Bind: The Muslim Right, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights (2012) and A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State (2016).
In 1986, Tax and Grace Paley initiated the PEN American Center Women’s Committee and became its co-chairs; she later became founding Chair of International PEN’s Women Writers’ Committee and from 1994 to 2005 was founding President of Women’s WORLD, a global free speech network that fought gender-based censorship. In 2011, she was a co-founder of of the Centre for Secular Space, a London-based thinktank formed to oppose fundamentalism, strengthen secular voices, and promote universality in human rights. Since 2014, she has been active in organizing US support for the Kurdish liberation movement in Northern Syria (Rojava).