The AAUW CA Public Policy program supports its mission to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research, and complements the national Public Policy program. AAUW CA’s priorities for action are chosen according to the criteria of viability, critical need, and strong member support. All members were invited to comment regarding the priorities that AAUW CA should place on California legislation affecting women and girls during the next two years, and these priorities reflect member comments. The priorities were adopted by a vote of California members.
To achieve economic self-sufficiency for all women AAUW CA advocates:
- Pay equity, fairness in compensation, benefits, and economic justice.
- Equitable access and advancement in employment, including vigorous enforcement of employment antidiscrimination statutes.
- Strengthening retirement benefits and programs, including pension improvements, and protecting Social Security from privatization or reduction in benefits.
- Programs that provide women with education, including financial literacy, training, and support for success in the workforce.
- Strengthening programs that encourage career development and earning potential, including career and technical education, access to postsecondary education, and welfare job training.
- Policies that promote and support work-life balance, including child and dependent care.
To support a strong system of high-quality public education, AAUW CA advocates:
- Adequate and equitable funding for high-quality public education for all students, including preschool.
- Increased support for programs that break through barriers for women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
- Protection of programs that meet the needs of girls and women in all levels of education, including sexual health education.
- Vigorous enforcement of Title IX and all other civil rights laws pertaining to education.
- Opposition to the use of public funds for nonpublic elementary and secondary education, and for charter schools that do not adhere to the same civil rights and accountability standards as required of other public schools.
- Support for and adequate funding that gives women and disadvantaged populations access to higher education, including two-year degree programs and vocational training.
To guarantee equality, individual rights and social justice for a diverse society, AAUW CA advocates:
- Self- determination of one’s reproductive health decisions.
- Freedom from violence and fear of violence, including bullying, sexual harassment, human trafficking, and gun violence, in all aspects of life.
- Increased access to quality, affordable healthcare, and family planning services.
- Strengthening California programs, including affordable housing, that improve the lives of children in families living at or below the poverty level.
- Support for United Nations programs that address human rights and women’s and girls’ issues.
- Freedom in definition of self and family, and guarantee of civil rights for all family structures.
- Vigorous protection of and full access to civil and constitutional rights for all.