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The Committee for the Status of Women in Anthropology (COSWA) was created 25 years ago by members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to monitor gender discrimination within the discipline of anthropology. Since that time it has produced surveys, introduced resolutions at AAA business meetings, set up a system for censuring departments that failed to make good-faith efforts to hire in gender-neutral ways, and kept the discipline informed about progress in gender parity within academic employment. As a recent AAA survey indicated, employment of women at the level of assistant professor is now approximately equal to that of men, and proportional to the representation of each in the available PhD pool. At the same time, however, surveys show that gender parity has not yet been attained. Discrepancies still exist in such variables as rank, length of time in rank (i.e., speed of promotion), citation patterns and standard measures of "productivity" (e.g., publication rates). These indicators of ongoing gender bias, together with changes in the pattern of anthropological employment toward more professional and part-time careers, have led the Committee's members to modify COSWA's mission.

In addition to monitoring and reporting on issues that affect the diverse women in anthropology, COSWA seeks to develop an interactive presence on the World Wide Web whereby individuals interested in gender parity within anthropology can have a space to engage one another as well as share concerns or issues that they may be facing.

Please note that postings to this listserve are by individual listserve members and are not endorsed by COSWA. If you have a topic that you wish to raise anonymously to the listserve, please contact Keri Brondo, COSWA’s Chair, at brondoke@msu.edu, to post on your behalf.

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