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Announcing IWPR's 25th Anniversary


By Caroline Dobuzinskis

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. IWPR was founded in 1987 out of a need for an organization whose distinct purpose was to develop policy-oriented research that focused on women.

That year, IWPR produced its first research results and IWPR founder Heidi Hartmann testified before the U.S. Senate with findings on the costs to women in the American workforce of not having jobs to go back to after childbirth. In 1990, Unnecessary Losses: Costs to Americans of the Lack of Family and Medical Leave was subsequently released in cooperation with AAUW. Finally, in 1993, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law giving employees access to unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons such as for the birth or adoption of a child.

Today, IWPR, in collaboration with its many partners and supporters, continues to contribute groundbreaking research in an effort to eliminate gender-based disparity. IWPR has published more than 600 reports, fact sheets, and research-in-briefs that place women as the central point of analysis.

In 2011, IWPR launched a new website and research portal to make it easier to access research findings.

IWPR staff continues to testify experts both in Washington, DC, and in state legislative houses across the country. Our research serves as a reliable resource to media, academics, and policymakers, providing background and context for present and future policy agendas impacting women in the United States and the world.

Looking forward, IWPR has established several resolutions for our anniversary year:

  • -- Celebrate our 25th anniversary by marking the progress that women have made while highlighting areas where policy changes could make a huge difference in advancing women, families, and communities.
  • -- During this election year, inform the sometimes biased discussion about many issues that affect women, such as job and the economy, the gender wage gap and workplace discrimination, violence against women, STEM education, Social Security and retirement, work/family balance, contraception and reproductive freedom, and maternal and child health.
  • -- Contribute to improving success rates for student parents by sharing best practices with administrators, practitioners, advocates, and policymakers within the worlds of higher education, youth development, and early care and education.
  • -- Give young women opportunities to gain career experience while expanding their knowledge of research and policy issues through our internship and fellowship programs.

Look for news of an upcoming celebration of our 25th happening this fall. Also, for more information on IWPR’s 25th anniversary, please visit our webpage at

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