Posts Tagged ‘organizing’

face_of_pay_equity_150x225The new year may be right around the corner, but it will take an extra four months for women’s earnings to catch up to men’s earnings from the year before. The symbolic day when women’s earnings finally make up the 23 percent difference is known as Equal Pay Day. As usual, AAUW will host special events and distribute resources to help celebrate the work that has been done and that still needs to be done to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work.

It is never too early to start preparing for Equal Pay Day — April 9, 2013. This year will be especially important, as 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.

What will your state or branch do to observe Equal Pay Day? AAUW has updated our Pay Equity Resource Kit with suggested ideas for action, facts and figures about pay equity, the latest AAUW research, and step-by-step instructions for planning activities. Here is just a sampling of what the resource kit can help you accomplish:

  • Organize reading and discussion sessions. Lilly Ledbetter’s book, Grace and Grit, would make a great selection!
  • Issue a press release for Equal Pay Day. A sample press release is included in the resource kit.
  • Hold in-district meetings with your members of Congress. The resource kit walks you through the process of requesting a meeting, preparing for that meeting, and following up with members of Congress and their staff afterward.
  • Complete a workplace pay audit for your office, and encourage branch and state members to do the same.
  • Organize a petition to show that there is a high level of popular support for pay equity legislation.
  • Conduct a public information campaign. You can raise awareness about the need for legislation to end discrimination against women in the labor market.
  • Ask your members of Congress and state legislators to sign a fair pay pledge. The resource kit includes sample pledges.

Download the complete AAUW Pay Equity Resource Kit today to get started! You can also request pay equity stickers and other materials by e-mailing advocacy@aauw.org.

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One of the most remarkable things about working for a women’s organization in Washington, D.C., is the access to a close-knit, active, and large feminist community. Living in the D.C. area provides access to a plethora of activities with feminist organizations, from grassroots collectives to large, national organizations. D.C. is a great place to live if you are interested in feminist politics and women’s issues. But even though this city has a vibrant feminist community, this is not so in many places around the country.

So I’m happy to be able to attend events such as the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference. Hosted by the Feminist Majority Foundation a little over a week ago, this event encouraged feminist leaders from around the country to join forces for a weekend to exchange stories, attend informational trainings, and listen to women leaders. It was inspiring and motivating for me and the many young women who attended.

One of the best sessions was True Life: I’m a Feminist Organizer. Even though many of the girls in the (packed) room were still undergraduates, the women on the panel were around my age. What they said was relevant to me as a graduate student working in an entry-level position in a women’s organization but also to the students who would soon start their graduate studies or activist careers.

The screening of the film The Coat Hanger Project, directed by local feminist Angie Young, was one of the most inspiring moments of the conference. The film takes viewers on a journey from the time before Roe v. Wade, when women had to resort to dangerous methods in order to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, to our current state of having to protect our reproductive rights daily.

Last year when I attended the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL), I found the same sense of inspiration and motivation in the workshops, events, and conversations. Some of the greatest joys in my life are the moments when I get the opportunity to surround myself with peers who are talented, driven, and passionate about women’s issues.

Like the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference, the sessions at NCCWSL were wide-ranging; from how to build a sexual violence response team on your college campus to increasing the number of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—there is a session for every issue.

It’s always a moving experience to meet young women who are dealing with some of the same issues on their college campuses. At both NCCWSL and last week’s conference I was able to talk to young women who are having issues similar to those I face on my campus. We were able to not only vent about lack of support but also discuss solutions we have found.

I highly recommend attending a conference such as the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference or NCCWSL. There is still time to register for NCCWSL, which takes place June 2–4 just outside D.C. at the University of Maryland, College Park. Early-bird registration ends April 15, and regular registration ends May 18.

This post was written by AAUW Leadership Programs Fellow Donnae Wahl.

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