Thursday, March 18, 2021 5pm ET
Two Steps Back: The Impact of COVID-19 on Women Entrepreneurs
Women entrepreneurs are among the hardest hit during the economic upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic. The alarming disparities in the economic downturn has been dubbed the ‘she-cession” highlighting the disproportionate number of women, particularly women of color, who were laid off or dropped out of the labor force and dim projections for the future of women-owned businesses. Join us for a conversation with Mabel Abraham, the assistant professor of management at Columbia Business School, and Laurie Fabiano, the president of the Tory Burch Foundation on women’s entrepreneurship and economic justice in the COVID era and beyond.
We honor the group of visionary women who founded AAUW 136 years ago on November 28, 1881.
On that day, Marion Talbot, then a recent graduate of Boston University, and Ellen Swallow Richards, the first woman graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, invited 15 alumnae from eight colleges to a meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. Among the first generation of women college graduates, these pioneering women struggled with a lack of career opportunity. In founding AAUW, they discussed how they would join together to help other women break through educational barriers and attend and graduate college as well as assist those who had already graduated.
The rest is history. Today, AAUW boasts 170,000 members and supporters, more than 100 student orgs, and 800 college and university members. Our community engages in amazing advocacy work—in 2017, AAUW members and supporters voiced their support or opposition to at least 325 state bills, submitted more than 10,000 comments to the U.S. Department of Education in support of strengthening and protecting Title IX, and sent over 270,000 messages to lawmakers. We look forward to many, many more years of advocating for women and girls!
AAUW Signs on to Amicus Brief in Immigrant Abortion Access Case
In Azar v. Garza (formerly Garza v. Hargan), the issue before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is whether the government can set and enforce policies that veto an individual’s right to access abortion care; intimidate and coerce individuals who choose to end their pregnancies; and do so on the basis of the individual’s age and immigration status.
AAUW signed onto an amicus brief asking the D.C. Circuit to affirm the class certification and preliminary injunction issued by the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which would allow access to abortion without the interference of this government policy despite immigration status. The district court order defined the class as all pregnant, unaccompanied immigrant minors who are or will be in the legal custody of the federal government.
This amicus brief was offered in support of Jane Doe, Jane Moe, Jane Poe, and Jane Roe (“the Janes”) and a class of unaccompanied immigrant minors in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), who are being denied access to abortion. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) represents the Janes and filed a preliminary injunction on their behalf, describing attempts by ORR Director Scott Lloyd to personally coerce young women to carry their pregnancies to term instead of having an abortion, and to personally force them to go to religiously-affiliated “crisis pregnancy centers.”
On October 13, 2017, the ACLU filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court to fight on behalf of Jane Doe, who was being prevented from accessing abortion care. On October 18, 2017, the district court granted a temporary restraining order prohibiting the government from interfering with Jane Doe’s access to her abortion provider, but the government sought an emergency stay of that order from the D.C. Circuit.
A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit set aside key parts of the temporary restraining order and sent the case back to the district court to see if Jane Doe could find a sponsor to whom ORR could transfer custody before the end of October. Judge Brett Kavanaugh, nominee for the U. S. Supreme Court, was seated on this three-judge panel and ruled to delay the abortion, holding this did not unduly burden her right to an abortion. Four days later, the full D.C. Circuit panel of judges reheard the case and ruled that the young woman was entitled to exercise her right to choose without delay. Judge Kavanaugh dissented from that second decision, adopting troubling language in his opinion and signaling his lack of support for this constitutional right.
Choice in the determination of one’s reproductive life and increased access to health care and family planning services are core tenants of AAUW policy. AAUW signed onto this brief because we support the civil and human rights of all immigrants. We also support international family planning programs that are consistent with AAUW policy.
The procedural history of this case has been long and protracted, with various challenges from the government. The government’s appeal of the district court’s preliminary injunction and class certification are scheduled for oral argument on September 26.
AAUW Empowers Women
AAUW has been empowering women as individuals and as a community since 1881. For more than 130 years, we have worked together as a national grassroots organization to improve the lives of millions of women and their families.
We support challenges to sex discrimination in higher education and the workplace.
We respond to the global development needs of women, helping them contribute to the economic and social development of their countries.
AAUW’s policy work connects and rallies advocates at the local, state, national, and global levels to empower women and girls. With the member-voted Public Policy Priorities as our guide, AAUW uses lobbying and grassroots efforts to push forward policies that break through educational and economic barriers for women. Below we highlight our positions and advocacy on major issues.
To view letters, comments, testimony, and legal briefs, select one of the main images or policy themes below. If you’d like more information on our positions or advocacy efforts, choose one of the listed policies below or see AAUW’s Public Policy Priorities.
AAUW advocates for equality, individual rights, and social justice for a diverse society.
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Civil Rights Issues
AAUW advocates for all women to achieve economic self-sufficiency.
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Economic Security Issues
Take action on issues impacting women and girls by joining AAUW’s Action Network. As a Two-Minute Activist, you will receive urgent email notices when your advocacy is needed most. We’ll provide all the tools you need to call or send messages to your members of Congress, write letters to the editor for your local newspapers, contact your state legislators about pressing issues, and more.
Become a Two-Minute Activist
Receive urgent e-mail notices to contact your members of Congress right in your inbox. Join the AAUW Action Network today!
Read AAUW National’s Strategic Plan
AAUW is proud to be launching our new strategic plan — Beyond Aspirations: Advancing Equity for Women and Girls. Read more about the plan that will ensure our organization is 100 percent mission-focused to advance education and training, economic security, leadership, and AAUW’s governance and sustainability now and into the future.
2017 – 2019 Board of Directors
AAUW Board of Directors
Board Vice Chair
Board Finance Vice Chair