SWS sometimes issues formal statements on academic concerns and larger social issues. Here are recent statements and sign-ons.
Responding to a call from the National Women's Law Center, SWS signed this Amicus Brief* upporting Jane Doe's complaint of sex discrimination against a Louisiana school district.
An ad-hoc Consortium of Professional and Academic Associations formed recently to condemn Arizona’s immigration law (SB 1070) and related state policies such as the prohibition against Ethnic Studies programs (HB 2281), calling for these laws to be rescinded.
SWS was among the signing organizations.
As the group notes on its website: these laws are inherently unjust, and their application threatens to inflame anti-immigrant sentiments. We call upon the governor, legislators, and people of Arizona to work diligently and swiftly to repeal these laws.
Marquette University rescinded a job offer to professor Jodi O'Brien, an SWS member whose scholarship concerns GLBT issues and who is a lesbian. SWS responded with this letter.
"I [Shirley Hill] write this letter on behalf of the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) to offer our strongest support for continuing the Women’s Studies Department at UNLV.
"SWS is an international women's organization with more than 1000 members and local chapters across the country. It emerged in 1969 with the mission of promoting activism, scholarship, and education to improve the lives of all women in all walks of life and to enhance the professional and academic careers of women, especially in colleges and universities. Many of our members were pioneers in the creation of women's studies departments across the nation, and often were the chairs/directors of those departments. We know first hand how vitally important such programs are; indeed, they have been nothing short of transformative in making the lives, histories, and experiences of women visible and promoting social change and gender equity. Also, women's studies programs do much to contribute to the broader understanding of social diversity and inequality as it relates to other marginalized groups, whose absence or invisibility in the academy once reflected and reinforced their secondary statuses in the broader society. Women's studies departments offer a space where interdisciplinary learning truly exists and enriches the lives of students. And compared to other departments, they are typically cost-effective and broadly appealing to students from a variety of disciplines.
"Over the past few weeks we have learned more about the Women's Studies Department at UNLV and the vital role it plays in drawing students from diverse disciplines, furthering the goals of multicultural studies, and providing stellar research and teaching. This Department exemplifies the contributions women studies departments continue to play at universities. It is composed of scholars from various fields, is multidisciplinary, and highlights the intersection of gender, race-ethnic, sexual, and class inequality. But beyond these important academic contributions is the message that is conveyed by the creation and support of women's studies program: That understanding the experiences and lives of women is a vital component of what it means to be educated.
"In this era of economic crisis and cost-cutting, we urge you to consider carefully the value of the Women’s Studies Department at UNLV and do all in your power to insure its continuation."
Responding to a call from the National Women's Law Center, SWS signed this Amicus Brief* supporting the plaintiffs' complaint of race discrimination against the city of Chicago.