Informing policy. Inspiring change. Improving lives.
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research conducts and communicates research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences. IWPR works with policymakers, scholars, and public interest groups to design, execute, and disseminate research that illuminates economic and social policy issues affecting women and families and to build a network of individuals and organizations that conduct and use women-oriented policy research.
It is the leading think tank in the United States focusing on the quantitative and qualitative analysis of public policy through a gendered lens. Founded in 1987, IWPR’s reports and other informational resources have informed policies and programs across the country and internationally, 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 and Job Training, Unemployment and the Economy
Democracy & Society - The Status of Women and Girls, Immigration and Religion, Women in Unions, Women's Civic and Political Engagement
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 preventive health services for women, costs of domestic violence
IWPR brings far-reaching expertise to each of its projects through its multi-disciplinary staff of seven Ph.D.-level and several Masters-level researchers, who have training in the fields of economics, sociology, psychology, social work, international relations, theology, and women’s studies. IWPR’s President, Dr. Heidi I. Hartmann, is a pre-eminent economist and recipient of the Macarthur “genius” award.
IWPR is affiliated with the graduate programs in Public Administration and 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, as a research organization, participates in many issue-based coalitions in order to provide research and information that is useful in policy change. IWPR's staff members also participate on several steering committees and boards-of-directors in areas such as poverty, education, retirement security, and family and work issues.
IWPR’s research informs policy and programmatic priorities, inspires change, 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, broadcast, cable, and satellite, and internet media outlets such as The Huffington Post.
IWPR’s work has been used to craft new policies, inform funding strategies, and develop programs to promote gender equity and encourage leadership among women and girls.
IWPR's research has helped policymakers, advocates, community leaders, and the media separate myth from fact for more than 25 years. By providing rigorous and reliable data analysis, IWPR has worked each year to shine a light on misleading information and provide credible information on overlooked populations. For instance, IWPR's research has shown that: