The Institute for Women’s Policy Research conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women, promote public dialog, and strengthen families, communities, and societies.

It is the leading think tank in the U.S. focusing primarily on domestic women’s issues. Founded in 1987, IWPR’s reports and other informational resources have informed policies and programs across the U.S., in each of its key program areas:

Employment, Education, & Economic Change – Employment and Job Quality, Economic Status of Women in the States , Pay Equity and Discrimination, Access to Higher Education, Unemployment and the Economy

Democracy & Society – The Status of Women and Girls, Immigration and Religion, Women in Unions, Women’s Political Participation

Poverty, Welfare, & Income Security – Retirement and Social Security, Poverty, Katrina and the Gulf Coast, Welfare Reform

Work & Family – Early Care and Education, Family Leave and Paid Sick Days, Workplace Flexibility

Health & Safety – Women’s access to health insurance, costs and benefits of preventative health services for women, costs of domestic violence

Our People

IWPR brings far-reaching expertise to each of its projects through its multi-disciplinary staff of seven Ph.D. and several Masters-level researchers, who have training in the fields of economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, theology, and women’s studies.  IWPR’s President, Dr. Heidi I. Hartmann, is a pre-eminent Economist and recipient of the Macarthur “genius” award.

Our Networks

IWPR is affiliated with the graduate program in Public Policy and Women’s Studies at the George Washington University.  It also has a network of hundreds of organizational and individual members, many of whom are academic researchers and community leaders around the country.  IWPR is also developing a network of affiliated scholars, including the President of the National Council of Negro Women, and several professors at the George Washington University.

Our Results

IWPR’s research fuels debate, informs policy and programmatic priorities, and improves women’s lives.

IWPR’s work and experts are cited and appear regularly in almost a thousand media sources each year, including the New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, television news, and internet media outlets such as The Huffington Post.

IWPR’s work has been used to craft new policies, to inform funding strategies, and to develop programs to promote gender equity and encourage leadership among women and girls.

Our Impact

IWPR’s research has helped policymakers, advocates, community leaders, and the media separate myth from fact for almost 25 years. By providing rigorous and reliable data analysis, IWPR has worked to shine a light on misleading information and provide credible information on overlooked populations. For instance, IWPR’s research has shown that:
– Community colleges would need to increase the supply of child care on campus at least 10-fold to meet the current needs of students. IWPR’s current project on post secondary education, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be used to support efforts to expand child care on college campuses.

– The poverty of families headed by single mothers would fall by half if the wage gap were eliminated. IWPR’s Equal Pay for Working Families report from 1999 was used to introduce pay equity legislation in the states.

– Hispanic women earn only 53 percent of what white men earn for full-time, year-round work.  African American women earn only 62 percent.  Women of all races earn 77 percent of what men earn for full-time, year-round work. Updated twice per year, IWPR’s Gender Wage Gap Fact Sheet is used by advocates and policymakers to build support for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

– At the current rate of progress it will take 100 years for women to achieve parity in political representation in Congress and 50 years to achieve equal pay. IWPR’s groundbreaking Status of Women in the States reports were used to support the work of advocates working in the states to promote policy agendas that meet the needs of women.

– Nearly half of private sector workers lack paid sick days. Businesses like restaurants, nursing homes, and child care centers are among the least likely to provide any paid sick days, putting the public at increased risk of contagion. IWPR’s series of reports and testimonies on paid sick days, including No Time to be Sick report, have been used nationally and in individual states to support campaigns for paid sick days.