Victories for Women in 2010December 23, 2010
Thanks to the activism and generosity of AAUW Action Network activists, members, and staff, we can claim some impressive advocacy and programmatic achievements this year. We continue to be advocates and catalysts for sustainable change, and your contributions supercharge our efforts to break through barriers for women and girls.
So let’s look back and celebrate a few of our many accomplishments in 2010:
• We made enormous strides toward strengthening and updating the Equal Pay Act by advocating for the Paycheck Fairness Act. Although the bill was ultimately defeated by a procedural vote in the Senate, President Obama personally thanked Director of Public Policy and Government Relations Lisa Maatz for AAUW’s leadership. We will continue the fight for strong pay equity legislation in the next Congress and for stronger equal pay enforcement through the executive branch.
• AAUW published Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, a comprehensive report on the underrepresentation of women in these fields. This report has been so successful that AAUW has already invested in a third printing. You can order a copy by mail for just the cost of shipping at ShopAAUW or download the report at no cost from our website.
• We awarded $3.2 million in fellowships, grants, and awards for the 2010-11 academic year to support 215 scholars, research projects, and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls. Since 1888, AAUW has provided more than $80 million to 11,000 fellows and grantees around the globe.
• Our members and public policy staff helped close the book on the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which bans gay and lesbian Americans from openly serving in the military. This policy has caused the discharge of thousands of trained and skilled service members and has cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
• We championed the inclusion of Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s (D-MD) Women’s Health Amendment in the health care reform bill. This amendment will prevent health insurance providers from discriminating against women, requiring the companies to cover additional preventive health care and screenings for women at no additional cost.
• AAUW earned a five-star rating from GreatNonprofits, a group dedicated to hosting reviews and ratings of nonprofit organizations, and AAUW was included on their list of Top-Rated Women’s Empowerment Nonprofits.
• We hosted nearly 500 college women for the 25th annual National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.
• We worked with our e-advocates to dramatically grow our voice on Capitol Hill. AAUW’s Action Network logged over 13,000 new subscribers this year, and we sent over 74,000 messages to legislators and the administration, influencing them on a host of issues from pay equity and women’s health to hate crimes and Title IX.
• We successfully fought for the inclusion and passage of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, one of the largest investments in higher education ever, in the health care reform bill.
• AAUW members and fans broke the readership record for the AAUW Dialog blog with over 100,000 readers. We also moved the conversation about equity for women and girls into other new media, including Facebook and Twitter.
• We celebrated the one-year anniversaries of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, hard-won victories for equal rights that could not have succeeded without the commitment and dedication of AAUW’s e-advocates.
• AAUW disbursed over $90,000 to five plaintiffs to help with their legal costs in precedent-setting sex discrimination lawsuits on campus and in the workplace.
• We celebrated the 35th anniversary of the AAUW Action Fund Capitol Hill Lobby Corps with 1,200 visits to members of Congress this year alone and a Capitol Hill reception.
• AAUW launched the Elect Her initiative, a comprehensive program to build the pipeline of women running for public office.
If you aren’t already, become part of the AAUW national community and get engaged with women’s issues in 2011. Join now and connect with AAUW online via our website, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.