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The UAW Women’s Department was established in 1955 to give women a voice in the Union and push forward equal opportunities for UAW women, both in the work place and on the Union’s elected bodies.
Today, the UAW Women’s Department is still advocating and agitating for Union sisters to step up and s
UAW women have always been at the forefront of change. Photo courtesy of the Walter P. Reuther Labor Archives at Wayne State University.
Women play a vital and necessary role in the labor movement, but that role can be greatly enhanced. This is why the UAW Women’s Department is still needed over 50 years after its establishment.
Working through Regional Women’s Councils and the National Women’s Advisory Council, the Women’s Department helps Local Union Women’s Committees train and teach UAW women to contribute to the internal and external life of the Union to their fullest potential.
The Women’s Department also works with other UAW departments and like-minded groups like the Coalition of Labor Union Women to ensure that the voices of women are heard in the planning and execution of political action, organizing, and social justice programs supported by the International Union, UAW.
UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, director of the UAW Women's Department.
As the number of women in the workplace has increased, women’s issues and experience have become undeniably essential to mobilizing and raising the numbers of female workers to choose union representation
The UAW Women’s Department has developed programs and workshops to enhance the leadership role of UAW women. The Department holds an annual Women’s Conference to bring UAW members together to engage in workshops and classes on women’s and Union issues and the role women must play to move forward the labor movement’s contractual, political and social agenda.
The Department’s Women-to-Woman Program was established in 2000 and has been essential in facilitating communication of the UAW’s political message – sister-to-sister – across the country. The Department has also developed training programs and workshops on important topics to build the skills of current and future UAW woman leaders.
Vice President Estrada also directs the
UAW Independent Parts and Suppliers Department,
which is fighting for justice for workers at Flex-N-Gate.