It all began with a Boston meeting of 17 like-minded women who had defied society’s standards by earning college degrees. It started out as the Association of Collegiate alumnae and has grown into a network of women who have influenced and, at times even shaped, the debate over equity in education.
Since its first meeting in 1881, AAUW has been a catalyst for change. Today, with more than 170,000 members, 1000 branches, and 800 college and university partners, AAUW contributes to a more promising future and provides a powerful voice for women and girls.
Members hold an associate’s (or equivalent), bachelors or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Branch members also belong to the national organization.
The purpose of AAUW is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.
AAUW Value Promise
By joining AAUW, we belong to a community that breaks through educational and economic barriers so that all women have a fair chance.
AAUW Education Fund
AAUW has a long and distinguished history of advancing education and professional opportunities for women in the United States and around the world. Each year AAUW provides about $4 million in fellowships, grants, and awards for outstanding women and supports community action projects. AAUW funds pioneering research on women, girls, and education.
AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund
The Legal Advocacy Fund works to combat sex discrimination through community and campus outreach programs, a resource library and online advocacy tools, and various research reports, in collaboration with the Public Policy and Government Relations Department, LAF seeks amicus curiae opportunities in workplace sex discrimination cases. LAF also provides support to workplace sex discrimination cases that have the potential to make a difference for all women.
AAUW Action Fund, Inc.
The AAUW Action Fund supports and advocates for legislation, policies, and procedures relation to women’s equity and education by sponsoring voter guides, lobby, and providing information and resource to branches and states on public policy issues.
AAUW Leadership Programs
Through leadership programs, women and girls acquire the skills they need to succeed and assume leadership roles in their academic, professional, and personal lives. Programs include Campus Action Projects, the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in Washington, D.C., the Student Advisory Council, and Campaign College.