The Institute for Women’s Policy Research publishes the Status of Women in the United States, creating a scorecard for each state. Pennsylvania is ranked 23rd, indicating there is definite room for improvement, and offering one reason for our public policy work across the state. Read the full Pennsylvania report.
Another reason for our public policy work is in support of AAUW’s mission: Advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Advocacy is what we have done since our founding in 1881. What sets AAUW apart from other advocacy organizations is that the public policy areas for focus are member-endorsed and then supported by AAUW staff. Our grassroots advocacy starts with us setting the priorities.
AAUW Pennsylvania Public Policy Priorities 2016-2018
AAUW-PA’s public policy goals are to educate citizens about the impact of public policies on women and girls and to advocate for policies that will advance equity for women and girls. In Pennsylvania, AAUW actively endorses the national AAUW Public Policy Program. AAUW-Pennsylvania supports good governance, an informed citizenry, and community dialogue on critical issues. Biennial priorities are intended to complement national priorities and to be a focus for active educational and advocacy efforts by members in the state.
To enable members and all citizens to participate fully in a representative democracy and self-governance, AAUW-PA will:
- Increase awareness of issues so that members may be fully informed and empowered voters
- Oppose measures likely to suppress voting rights
- Support efforts to increase civil discourse and compromise between those with opposing views and to oppose negative campaigning
- Familiarize members with a variety of methods to advocate for public policies
- Promote the voting habit and use of social media to develop a voting community among millennial women
AAUW-PA will support a quality system of public education.
- We oppose the diversion of public funds to non-public elementary and secondary education.
- We will support a fair and adequately funded system of public education.
- We support the fair education funding formula recommended by the Campaign for Fair Education Funding.
AAUW-PA will advocate for measures that improve the economic self-sufficiency of all women. We support:
- Pay equity and fairness in compensation
- Raising the minimum wage and tipped minimum wage to an amount that would provide a meaningful boost to family incomes in Pennsylvania and help grow the state’s economy.
- Equitable access and advancement in employment
- Vigorous enforcement of employment anti-discrimination statutes
- Creating family-friendly workplace environments including flexible workplace policies, paid leave for personal and family illness, and quality child-care facilities available to all parents regardless of their circumstances
- Strengthening secondary and post-secondary programs that provide women with education, vocational training, and support for success in the workforce, including non-traditional occupations
- Improving retirement security
AAUW-PA will advocate for measures to improve the operations and transparency of government, understanding that an efficient and effective government can improve the well-being of women.