Access to Health Care and Family Planning
AAUW supports the right of every woman to safe, affordable, and comprehensive family planning and reproductive health services. AAUW’s Public Policy Priorities advocate “to guarantee equality, individual rights and social justice for a diverse society, AAUW supports: choice in the determination of one’s reproductive rights life and increased access to quality affordable health care and family planning services, including expansion of patient rights.” Learn more about AAUW’s stand.
Ensure legislators understand AAUW issues
Meeting with legislators is an effective and exciting way to make sure they understand AAUW positions on our priority issues. And there’s strength in numbers. That’s why AAUW Florida sponsors Lobby Days each year, encouraging branches throughout the state to participate.
Our public policy committee selects priority legislation each year and publishes talking points for attendees, and conduct training sessions. Priorities for were economic security, education and civil rights. Read a summary of priority legislation here. Click each item in the list below to read talking points for specific legislation.
- Equal Rights Amendment
- Human Trafficking
- School Choice
- Period Poverty
Continue to advocate for gender equity
Lobby Days are over till next year, but that doesn’t mean advocacy efforts should end. In preparation for attending Lobby Day, participants did their homework. You can use the same preparations and get in touch with your legislators any time. You don’t have to wait till next year’s Lobby Days.
- Identify your legislators, and call or email them or their legislative aides to arrange meetings.
- Review our positions for the top priority bills on our legislative agenda and talking points.
- Review the AAUW Public Policy Advocacy Toolkit for tips on meetings with legislators, and more.
- Give legislators information about AAUW when you contact them. The state public policy committee will provide guidance.
- Sign up to be a Two-Minute Activist.
- Review AAUW Quick Facts.
2020 is the Centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment
The Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution – giving women the right to vote – was ratified by three quarters of the states on August 21, 1920 and became effective August 26, 1920. It is having a huge impact. Per a Rutgers University Study, since 1980, the percentage of eligible women who voted in a presidential election exceeded the percentage of eligible men. And since 1964, the actual number of women voting in a presidential election exceeded that of men. We’ll be celebrating the right to vote in the upcoming year – check back for more information. In the meantime, if you want to see the Rutgers Study summary, check it out at this link: www.cawp.rutgers.edu/sites/default/files/resources/genderdiff.pdf
We already started the celebration with a luncheon in July 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Florida’s ratification of the US 19th Amendment. See the current year photo gallery for details. And if you want to know more about Florida’s path to women’s right to vote, the following magazine from the Florida Humanities Council has great information: https://digital.usfsp.edu/forum_magazine/60/
In Florida, women earn 87% of that of men. The pay disparity starts with the first professional job, and grows from that point forward with each raise and new position. Read more about this important topic on the AAUW website, AAUW The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap. The AAUW has an initiative called Start Smart/Work Smart to educate and train women in the critical salary negotiation process, from the first profession job and forward.
We are encouraging all women to take the AAUW FREE online Work Smart course, and share the URL with your friends, relatives and co-workers. The course can be accessed at https://salary.aauw.org/.
The gender pay gap, which begins as soon women enter the workforce and grows throughout their working life, continues to disadvantage women during their retirement years. Read more at the AAUW website, How the Wage Gap Hurts Women in Retirement.
- Women collect only about 80 percent of what men do in Social Security benefits, a result of the fact that women have earned less than men throughout their life, and therefore have paid less into the Social Security system.
- Women’s pension income is only 76 percent of that collected by men.
- Women’s overall retirement income, which includes Social Security, pension, interest and dividend income and other sources of income, is only 70 percent of men’s retirement income.
Read more at the AAUW website, How the Wage Gap Hurts Women in Retirement.
The AAUW at the national and state level tracks public policy initiatives including proposed legislation that helps advance our mission. The two-minute activist is an easy way for individuals to send our views on these matters to the politicians representing you. https://www.aauw.org/act/two-minute-activist/
Letter Writing Campaigns and Local Activism
We also have period letter writing campaigns. We recently encouraged members to send letters to the Department of Education regarding Title IX. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking focused on reducing costs by narrowing defining sexual harassment and limiting investigation to sexual assault and harassment cases to only those with multiple written complaints against the same person. You can read more at AAUW- The Attack on Title IX.
We also participated in the Wimauma Women’s March organized by Enterprising Latinas.