Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1977



Drafted: January 13-16, 1977 at the Founding Convention held at the University of San Francisco.


We, the delegates to the first convention of the National Women's Studies Association, have met to found an organization designed to further the social, political, and professional development of women's studies throughout the country, at every educational level and in every educational setting.

Women's studies owes its existence to the movement for the liberation of women; the women's liberation movement exists because women are oppressed. Women's studies, diverse as its components are, has at its best shared a vision of a world free not only from sexism but also from racism, class-bias, ageism, heterosexual bias—from all the ideologies and institutions that have consciously or unconsciously oppressed and exploited some for the advantage of others. The development of women's studies in the past decade—the remarkable proliferation of programs that necessitated this association—is a history of creative struggle to evolve knowledge, theory, pedagogy, and organizational models appropriate to that vision.

Women's studies is the educational strategy of a breakthrough in consciousness and knowledge. The uniqueness of women's studies has been its refusal to accept sterile divisions between academy and community, between the growth of the mind and the health of the body, between intellect and passion, between the individual and society. Women's studies, then, is equipping women not only to enter society as whole and productive human beings, but to transform it. This constitution reaffirms that commitment.



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