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 Status of Women March 2018 — Pennsylvania report.
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 members setting the priorities.
AAUW Pennsylvania Public Policy Priorities 2018–2020
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 advocates:
- Awareness of issues so that members may be fully informed and empowered voters
- Opposition to measures likely to suppress voting rights
- Support for efforts to increase civil discourse and compromise between those with opposing views
- Opposition to negative campaigning
- Efforts to Get Out the Vote including voter registration and use of social media to promote voting.
To support a quality system of public education, AAUW-PA advocates
- Opposition to the diversion of public funds to non-public elementary and secondary education and charter schools.
- Support for a fair and adequately funded system of public education.
- Strengthening secondary and post-secondary programs that provide women with education, vocational training, and support for success in the workforce, including non-traditional occupations
To improve the economic self-sufficiency of all women, AAUW-PA advocates
- Pay equity and fairness in compensation and benefits
- 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.
- 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.
- Improving retirement security
To improve the operation and transparency of government, AAUW-PA advocates
- Measures to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government that can improve the well-being of women.
- Supports efforts to end the practice of partisan redistricting, gerrymandering in Pennsylvania.