August 30, 2021

NYSUT Women: How to create a women’s empowerment club in any school

Source: NYSUT Women's Committee
women's empowerment club

Want to start a club in your school or on your campus where students can discuss women’s issues, mentoring and opportunities with students? We have ideas for you on how to get your club off the ground!

Why start a club?

Students need safe spaces to speak about issues, including fairness, safety, equity, access and representation.

Who would join?

  • All students are invited to join.
  • Talk to students who may be interested
  • Get the word out!
  • Have students invite their friends
  • Hang fliers around school
  • Make announcements

Is this possible?

  • Check your contract for more information
  • Look at and follow the club chartering process for your district
  • Do not reinvent the wheel. Determine if there are other clubs that could incorporate women’s empowerment work
  • Talk to your union and administrators
  • Make a clear plan
  • Bring your mission statement

What should it be called?

  • Come up with a name (probably the hardest part!)
  • Involve all students regardless of gender or other identities

What should the club do?

  • Mentoring
  • Community outreach
  • Invite guest speakers to provide new perspectives and life skills
  • Build character and strengthen relationship and leadership skills
  • Explore issues of female representation in curriculum, materials, courses, society
  • Create a safe space for discussing issues pertaining to girls and women
  • Women’s health
  • Women’s safety
  • Body image
  • Pay equity
  • Women’s rights
  • Assign students to chart the course
  • Have fun!

Where to start?

  • Get inspired by the students. Take the lead from them!
  • Come up with a mission statement or philosophy
  • Know some of the statistics and inequalities women face
  • Think of the strategies you want to teach students to navigate the world
  • Just start! Figure things out as the club goes.

Ideas for guest speakers

Reach out to a variety of presenters. Most people asked will be honored to speak with students. Remember it's okay to get rejected!

  • Small business owners
  • Yoga instructors
  • Martial Arts studios
  • Not-For-Profit women’s agencies
  • Fellow educators
  • Medical and emergency services professionals
  • Local politicians
  • Corporate women
  • Current/former students
  • Women in nontraditional fields
  • Therapists or social workers
  • College professors or career counselors
  • BOCES instructors in nontraditional fields

Remember, no one has all the answers. Get started and see where it goes!


 Project assistance from Rebekah Stoll