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Chicanas always have suffered by the use of the terms minority and women.These terms..had the consequence of excluding the Mexican American woman rather than including her." MANA's original guiding principles were: to provide a platform for Chicanas to speak out about national issues, to develop Chicana leadership, to create more equality between male and female Mexican-Americans, to reinforce all activist efforts relating to Chicana equality, to spread awareness of Chicana concerns across the nation, and to develop a functional communication network for Chicanas across the country.Early leaders of the Mexican American Women's National Association attended the 1977 National Women's Conference, a culminating event sponsored by the Federal government of the United States in honor of International Women's Year in 1975.MANA's representation was a major debut for the fledgling organization and served to spread their name further.Older activists disagreed with the suggestion, fearing that the voices, experiences, and contributions from the organization's first fifteen years would be discounted.

MANA currently operates from its home base in Washington, D. This renaming accommodated non-Hispanic members who were previously not included in the organization's name or mission statement.Mexican American Women's National Association, known today as MANA, A National Latina Organization, advocates for equality and empowers Latinas through leadership development.MANA was founded in 1974, making it one of the oldest active Mexican-American advocacy organizations, and as of 2000 is considered the largest Latina organization in the United States.MANA's political advocacy included campaigning for accurate inclusion in the United States Census, which underrepresented the Mexican American population; lobbying for the Equal Rights Amendment and Affirmative action in the United States; pushing for the renewal of Voting Rights Act of 1965, and campaigning for Chicana representation as officials in all areas of the government.MANA's early medical advocacy focused on Reproductive rights, Mexican American access to healthcare, Compulsory sterilization, and for AIDS testing and treatment during the AIDS crisis.

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