Public Policy

Biennial Action Priorities:  2023-2025

National priorities inform state and local action. Biennial priorities for national action are chosen according to the criteria of viability, critical need, strong member support, and potential for distinctive AAUW contribution or leadership. Additional policy priorities are also critical to ensure equity for all. No further order of importance for the additional priorities is implied.

To support a strong system of public education that promotes gender fairness, equity, diversity and inclusivity, and to address the barriers and implicit biases that hinder the advancement of women and girls, AAUW advocates.

  • Strengthening and vigorous enforcement of Title IX and all other civil rights laws pertaining to education.
  • Adequate and equitable funding for and access to quality public education, including early childhood education, for all students.
  • Opposition to the use of public funds for nonpublic elementary and secondary education and to charter schools that do not adhere to the same civil rights and accountability standards as required of other public schools.
  • Increased support for and protection of programs that meet the needs of girls and women in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education, including strong promotion of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and comprehensive sexual health education.
  • Increased support for and access to affordable higher education for women, including alleviating the debt burden that disproportionately impacts borrowers of color and exacerbates the racial wealth gap.
  • Support for practices that halt the flow of students from schools to prisons, including reforming school disciplinary practices that disproportionately punish girls and students of color.

To achieve economic security for all women, AAUW advocates 

  • Pay equity and fairness in compensation and benefits.
  • Equitable access and advancement in employment, free from systemic barriers and biases, including vigorous enforcement of employment discrimination statutes.
  • Closing the gender and race gaps in leadership opportunities for women of all backgrounds
  • Greater availability of and access to a high standard of benefits and policies that promote work-life balance, including quality and affordable dependent care and paid family, medical, and sick leave.
  • Programs that provide women with education, training, and support for success in the workforce, including nontraditional occupations and women’s entrepreneurship
  • Strengthening programs, including welfare and career and technical education, to improve postsecondary education access, career development, and earning potential.
  • Strengthening retirement benefits and programs, including pension improvements and protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid from privatization
  • Access for all women to the full range of health care services to ensure economic security.
  • Increasing the number of quality jobs that pay a living wage.

To guarantee equality, individual rights, and social justice for a diverse and inclusive society, AAUW advocates 

  • Vigorous enforcement of and full access to civil and constitutional rights, including affirmative action and expanding voting rights
  • Complete, accurate and timely collection of data, disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and gender identity to inform policy decisions and the apportionment of political representation.
  • Self-determination of one’s reproductive health decisions
  • Universal access to quality, affordable health care, including insurance, and comprehensive family planning services, including expansion of patients’ rights.
  • Freedom from violence and fear of violence, including hate crimes, in homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.
  • Support for U.N. programs that address human rights and women’s and girls’ concerns.
  • Freedom in the definition of self and family, including protection from discrimination and a guarantee of civil rights for all family structures.
  • Passage and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment