AAUW History

AAUW believes that together we can transform society for the better.  Our vision is simple – we bring people together united behind the common goal of breaking through educational and economic barriers for women and girls.

Since its first meeting in 1891, AAUW has been a catalyst for change. When more than a century ago a Harvard physician claimed that higher education jeopardized women’s health, AAUW conducted research that proved he was wrong.  When the number of female college students grew, AAUW funded fellowships to support them.  When girls and boys were treated differently in school, AAUW research put gender bias on the national agenda. When women received less pay than their male colleagues for the same job, AAUW continued researching, educating, and advocating for equality.

Today, AAUW conducts research that draws national attention to issues of gender inequality in education and the workplace.  Recent reports address topics such as pay gap between men and women, economic security of middle age and senior women, sexual harassment on college campuses, and gender equity in science and engineering education.

AAUW generates significant resources for higher education, underwriting advanced education opportunities for women and girls to ensure women have access to and the opportunity for higher performance in their profession of choice.

AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) works to combat sex discrimination in higher education and the workplace with financial and non-financial support for discrimination cases.

Currently AAUW is looking at and advocating for:

  • Compliance with Title IX programs
  • Advancing women and girls in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math).
  • Pay Equity/Sexual Discrimination
  • Voter campaign to inform voters about issues affecting women and girls.
  • Getting women to vote and make a difference.