AAUW Public Policy Principles and Priorities

Updated October 2023 – questions to publicpolicy@aauw-wa.org

October 2023 News – The gender pay gap is in the news thanks to the Nobel Prize in Economics being awarded to Claudia Goldin for her research on women in the workforce and the gender pay gap. Read more about AAUW commitment to pay equity…

A October 2023 report on Book Bans and Curriculum Gag Orders by the Federal House Oversight Committee was released last week. We expect to see several state bills introduced in 2024 that will address book bans and curriculum as well as protections for educators and librarians related to the “culture wars”. Read more about AAUW State Lobby efforts…

AAUW WA Public Policy Team is gearing up for the 2024 legislative session. Send us your list of AAUW-WA priorities to consider: publicpolicy@aauw-wa.org

Our AAUW-WA Mission: To provide leadership and training to invigorate and inform local branches and affiliates, and to advocate as one voice to achieve our national mission and state objectives. Read more…

We support the AAUW mission which is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. AAUW and AAUW-WA believe that democratic participation in governance and equal rights, benefits, and opportunities in all institutions of society—economic, social, educational, health, and political—are fundamental to women’s empowerment and public well-being. For that reason we:

✔ oppose all forms of discrimination,
✔ support policies that improve racial, ethnic, and gender diversity
✔ believe in the separation of church and state, and
✔ support a fair, balanced, and independent judiciary

The AAUW National 2021-2023 priorities include:
✔ Support for a strong system of public education that promotes gender fairness, equity, diversity and inclusivity, and that addresses barriers and implicit biases that hinder the advancement of women and girls [FYI: read our AAUW-Washington policy statement…]
✔ The achievement of economic security for all women
✔ The guarantee of equality, individual rights, and social justice for a diverse and inclusive society. SEE AAUW SUPPORT TO RATIFY THE ERA/EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT –>

For decades AAUW members across Washington State have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day. Basic to all of AAUW-WA’s public policy efforts is the understanding that true equity requires women’s empowerment as individuals and structural support for their full participation as responsible members of their communities.

Democratic political processes are crucial to women’s empowerment in public and private life. For that reason, we support strong protection for the right to vote and meaningful campaign finance reforms. These will elevate the voices of all citizens and therefore promote a government that represents the popular will and general interest more fully.

Therefore, our Public Policy Priorities are:

  1. A strong system of public K-12 and higher education that:
      1. Promotes a broadly based education that includes STEM education at all levels
      2. Ensures equal access to that education for girls and women and underrepresented populations
      3. Provides training for careers that provide a living wage
      4. Includes state apprenticeship programs that provide equal access to women and underrepresented populations
      5. Reduces the costs of higher education
      6. Promotes research and education on women’s status, health, and social
      7. FYI: See our web page School board election advice
  2. Economic security and gender and racial equity in the workplace that includes:
      1. Access to ample paid sick and personal leave
      2. Pay equity and a minimum wage that supports economic independence for all workers
      3. Apprenticeship programs that provide education credits and Title IX protections
      4. Workplace equity and protection from discrimination
      5. Affordable child care so that women can enjoy rewarding work and look forward to a comfortable retirement
      6. Student loan debt
  3. A healthcare system that:
      1. Provides affordable and accessible reproductive, prenatal and postpartum medical services
      2. Removes gender, racial and other disparities in health access, treatment, and
  4. Adoption of a state budget that:
      1. Fully funds basic education
      2. Does not rely on local school levies
      3. Is based on an equitable tax system that will provide a stable source of funds for necessary state programs and services while creating systemic fairness in the distribution of tax burdens.
  5. Protection of women and girls from sexual harassment, assault, and physical violence through legislation that:
      1. Establishes Title IX compliant campus-based strategies and programs that provide protection from violence and safeguard survivors’ right to a safe educational environment.
      2. Provides increased transparency about reporting incidents of violence, securing victims’ rights to respectful treatment and effective legal redress, and establishes fair standards for disciplinary actions in educational institutions.
      3. Provides medical examinations and victim support to survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault
      4. Restricts access to guns for perpetrators of domestic violence
      5. Provides resources and legal tools to enable women to leave abusers safely
  6. Access to a broadband infrastructure and services that are equitable, affordable, and reliable; and provide:
      1. Appropriate devices and digital security
      2. All public K-12 and postsecondary students access to high-speed internet services,
      3. Remote employment opportunities, job training, and workforce support services including applications for and filing of claims for paid family medical leave, unemployment, disability, Social Security, and other safety net services
      4. Access to vital support services including domestic violence support
      5. Training in digital and media literacy
      6. Access to tele-health services

FYI: See 2022 policy resources archive…