Introduction

Dear Member of the American Historical Association:

The Committee on the Status of Women invites your consideration of the following draft report which it intends to present for discussion and criticism to an open meeting of the AHA membership scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on December 28th, in the Constitution Room of the Sheraton-Boston Hotel. After revising its draft in the light of this discussion, the Committee will submit its report to the Council of the AHA. We welcome comments and criticisms of all interested members of the Association.

Although we have been organized only eight months, and have launched certain projects that have not yet yielded the results we anticipate obtaining early in 1971, the Committee feels justified on the basis of what it has already learned in making certain proposals for action.

The Committee is well aware of the extent to which the broad question of the teaching, placement, and career development of women in professional history is a part of the even broader question of women's role in contemporary society. Identifying those aspect of both questions that may be met by action on the part of a professional association has not always been easy, but the Committee is convinced that there is for the AHA a very significant area of responsibility and opportunity. Our profession will be strengthened to the extent that its practices are recognized as equitable, based on merit, and designed to encourage and develop the best talent available within our ranks. Believing that our professional practices are not effectively meeting these objectives, the Committee is recommending certain institutional arrangements and policies to secure greater equity for women as prospective students and teachers of history.

Our study has convinced us that many, though not all, of the problems of women in academic life are reflections of general problems affecting men as well as women, and it is our belief that most of our recommendations would serve to provide a more liberal, encouraging, and progressive atmosphere for all students and teachers of history. It is with this hope that we present the following report for the consideration of our members.

Sincerely,

Willie Lee Rose, Chairman
Patricia Albjerg Graham
Graham Hanna Gray
Carl Schorske
Page Smith