Welcome to the AAUW Boise Area Branch Website

The Boise Area Branch 

The Boise Area Branch was formed in 1909 and originally named the College Women’s Club. Jane Hoover served as the first president. At that time, the national organization was called the Association of Collegiate Alumnae (ACA), and in 1910 a delegate was sent to the national convention in Denver, Colorado. Over the years, the branch has been a powerful voice for equity in Idaho’s capital city.women with signs at U.S. capitol

The branch meets monthly, September through May. Elected officers for the 2016-2017 term are:  Sylvia Chariton, president; Susan Lamberson, president-elect; Dena Duncan, membership vice president; Carolyn Lunstrum and Kathy Reavy, program co-vice presidents; Cathy Ransom, finance officer; and Kris Hooker, secretary. Find complete board information on our Contact page.

Members with AAUW banner at Idaho CapitolOver the years, members have developed a number of eclectic interest groups, which bring like-minded women together to address cultural and social topics, and to have fun!  See the Interest Groups page for more information and get in on the fun.

Sylvia Chariton, Lilly Ledbetter, Julie Custer June 2015

Sylvia Chariton, Lilly Ledbetter and Boise Area Branch President Julie Custer, June 2015

Upcoming programs will be posted to the Boise Branch Calendar as they become available; time and location are added as they are confirmed. For more information, consult the most recent newsletter, posted in the sidebar.  Visit our About page to learn more about us and what we do, and read more about the branch’s community involvement on our Special Projects page.

Otterness women

Three generations of Boise AAUW women!

State conventions are held every two years, hosted by an Idaho branch. The 2016 AAUW Idaho Convention was hosted by the AAUW Coeur d’Alene Branch. Find state and national convention information on our AAUW Idaho website or the AAUW Idaho Calendar page.

2016–2017 News Clips 

    • bsubball1-14-172bsubball1-14-17AAUW Family Event – Saturday, January 14, 2017:  The Boise State women’s basketball team generously donated enough tickets to allow approximately 40 Boise Area Branch members and their families to attend the Boise State women’s basketball game against Fresno State. The two teams provided members with an exciting game, with the outcome coming down to the final shot. To the delight of the Boise State fans, the Boise State women prevailed. A great time was had by all!
    • Online AAUW book discussion with Linda Hirshman, author of Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World
      Date : March 28, 2017
      Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
      Location: Online (You just need to register.)
      Cost: Free   Click here to learn more and register.
    • The Idaho Legislative Session convened on January 9, 2017. The AAUW Statehouse Lobby Corps is prepared to take our issues to the Idaho Capitol during the session. Members should contact Lobby Corps leaders to get involved, to make your voice heard. Check the AAUW Idaho Advocacy page for more information on how to participate with the group, contact your legislators, or write a letter to the editor.  Connect and make a difference.
    • AAUW’s December 9, 2016 issue of Washington Update featured a State Spotlight on Idaho:
      The Idaho Statesman published a letter to the editor from AAUW of Idaho co-presidents Julie Custer and Kathy Scott. Their letter featured a reaction to the 2016 election, which stated, “Our disappointment with the outcome of the presidential election is not because of the political party that President-elect Donald Trump represents. Our disappointment is with the positions he has taken on many issues that could adversely affect women, families, and underrepresented minorities.” Custer and Scott highlighted AAUW of Idaho’s dedication to advocacy dating back to 1909. Their letter makes clear that AAUW Idaho’s Statehouse Lobby Corps will continue to vigorously support legislation that improves the lives of women and families.

      (NOTE: This opinion piece was subsequently published in newspapers in Coeur d’Alene, McCall, Sandpoint, Sun Valley,Twin Falls and Spokane, WA. Read the entire guest opinion piece here.)

    • Women have been running for president of the United States since 1872 — before women even had the right to vote. This year, two high-profile women entered the race, and Hillary Clinton has now become the first female presidential nominee of a major political party. Here are some of the women who have tried to crack the ultimate glass ceiling. 
Simple Truth about Gender Pay Gap 2016

Why are men paid more than women for the same job role?

  • Branch members welcomed AAUW’s top policy advisor, Lisa Maatz, back to Boise in September, where she spoke about Gender and Politics at the 2016 Andrus Center for Public Policy Women and Leadership Conference. View conference welcome and opening remarks here.  Maatz is featured on Idaho Public Television’s Dialogue program, Gender and Politics: Lisa Maatz, which aired October 14, 2016. Maatz also attended the branch’s Happy Hour and spoke at the fall Welcome Back Brunch. View gallery photos of Lisa’s visits at the bottom of our About page.
    Lisa Maatz

    Lisa Maatz addresses attendees at 2016 Andrus Center Women and Leadership Conference

    Tracy Andrus introduces Lisa Maatz

    Tracy Andrus introduces AAUW’s Lisa Maatz, keynote speaker at 2016 Andrus Center Women and Leadership Conference

  • The 2016 AAUW Idaho State Convention was held August 12-14, 2016 in beautiful Coeur d’Alene. Branch members from around the state enjoyed an excellent program and fellowship. Thank you to the Coeur d’Alene Branch team members who graciously hosted the gathering.
  • On May 7, 2016, the branch ended the program year with a bang at our annual Spring Luncheon and Silent Auction at the Riverside Hotel.  Next year’s slate of officers was installed, and 66 members and guests raised over $5,000 at the fabulous auction. Outgoing President Julie Custer received a special award for her service, and extended thanks to all the luncheon attendees for their generosity. An extra special thank you went to Kay Reed, Linda Anderson, Marci Lingo, and Mary Ruckh for their countless hours of hard work in making the year’s auction such a huge success. Another shout out went to Andy Gibson and Mary Slaughter for coordinating the luncheon and all the other special events this past year, and to Wes Gibson for his photos.
  • Mom’s Penalty, Dad’s BonusWomen around the country “celebrated” Equal Pay Day on April 12, but mothers (and most women of color) have to wait even longer for their paychecks to catch up. May 16 represents the symbolic day when the median pay of mothers who work full time, year-round, catches up to the pay that working fathers received the previous year. Mothers are typically paid only 73 cents for every dollar fathers are paid — mothers face a pay gap larger than the 21-cent gap between women and men overall.
    Local branch members commemorated Equal Pay Day, April 12, 2016, at Boise’s Whole Foods. Members enjoyed libations and talked about ways to close the gender pay gap.
  • April was Sexual Assault Awareness month. Our meeting speaker was Program Manager of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Melissa Ruth.
  • The Andrus Center hosted a “watch party” on March 30, 2016, for the launch of AAUW’s research report, Barriers and Bias: The Status of Women in Leadership. The report was streamed live from the Newseum in Washington, D.C.  A panel of experts, moderated by Cokie Roberts, discussed the report’s findings and how our society as a whole can benefit from more women in leadership roles.  Download a copy of the new report here.
  • Read AAUW Boise member Amie Bruggeman’s Idaho Statesman Guest Opinion piece (March 2016) about the need to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
  • President-elect Sylvia Chariton wrote an Idaho Statesman Guest Opinion piece about Title IX.  Chariton succinctly summarized the law’s many benefits. Learn more about AAUW’s work on Title IX here.
  • Our branch actively supports STEM education! Visit our Special Projects page to see what STEM Chair Donna Looze is working on.
  • AAUW is working to end sexual violence on campus.  Check out this resource for students, schools and advocates.