Center for the Advancement of Women (CAW)

Center for the Advancement of Women (CAW)


* Conducted research on the status of women in American society
* Viewed women as victims of widespread discrimination
* Closed its doors permanently in 2012

Founded in 1993 (as the Center for Gender Equality), the Center for the Advancement of Women (CAW) was, in the words of its president, Faye Wattleton, an institution “dedicated to research-based education and advocacy for women.” Its long-term objective was to promote “better treatment of women by society.” A centerpiece of CAW’s work was its National Data Center on Women, an extensive archive of information based on surveys regarding women’s attitudes and experiences.

Professing to be non-partisan, CAW worked with women’s advocacy groups to publicize its research findings, which largely depicted women in America as victims of widespread discrimination. In turn, the Center used these findings as the basis of its calls for action. Among CAW’s chief concerns were: ending the allegedly widespread practice of job and pay discrimination against women; encouraging women to pursue careers in math, science, and technology;[1] helping women gain broader access to taxpayer-funded healthcare services, particularly abortion; providing taxpayer-funded child care services for women in need; and stamping out domestic violence and sexual assault against women, which CAW portrayed as growing epidemics.

CAW received funding from the American Express Foundation, the AT&T Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Ms. Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and many other philanthropies. It was also supported by a host of corporations, including Ameriquest Capital Corporation, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Chanel Inc., The Corcoran Group, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Estee Lauder Philanthropic Fund, Home Box Office, Lifetime Television, L’Oreal USA, the National Football League, Revlon, Shell Oil Company, Time Inc., Time Warner Inc., Time Warner Cable, Turner Broadcasting System, and Washington Mutual.

CAW’s advisory board included such notables as Eleanor Smeal (president of the Feminist Majority Foundation) and Congresswoman Maxine Waters. The Center also had links to the Ms. Foundation and The American Prospect.

CAW shut down its operations in 2012.

[1] The CAW website featured a section titled “Women in Science, Engineering and Technology,” which lamented that various forms of “demoralizing discrimination” against women were “rampant” in those fields.

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