Former Committee on Gender Equity in Anthropology - Participate & Advocate
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Former Committee on Gender Equity in Anthropology

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The Committee on Gender Equity in Anthropology (CoGEA) monitors the status of gender equity in the discipline and the American Anthropological Association, advising the Executive Board and educating members. The Committee reports to the Executive Board. Members are elected from and by the AAA membership at large.

Since 1995, CoGEA (formerly the Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology or COSWA), a standing committee of the AAA, has considered several new initiatives of interest to the membership. The initiatives include attention to sexual harassment, part-time employment, issues in academic and nonacademic employment, and issues of "productivity," assessment which is so important to promotion and tenure.

Committee Charge


Monitor the status of gender equity in the discipline and the American Anthropological Association. Advise the Executive Board on the status of gender equity in the discipline and the Association to educate members.

Duration of Committee

Combined with other AAA programmatic committees to form the Members’ Programmatic, Advisory and Advocacy Committee (MPAAC) following the 2017 AAA Annual Meeting. 

Committee Reports to

The Executive Board


Membership and Appointment

Adopted by Executive Board: May 19, 2012
Committee Links
Additional Information And Resources

What's New with CoGEA

CoGEA, formerly COSWA, is deepening our mission to achieve greater gender parity in anthropology through continued monitoring, advocacy, and education.

In 2009, we revised our mission statement and changed our name to align our identity more closely with a mandate of gender parity, and to provide a more expansive and inclusive arena for the consideration of all gender inequity issues.  This change signals our interest in engaging transgender, women, and men in a comprehensive, discipline-wide dialogue.

CoGEA Surveys

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academies are conducting a study of the impacts of gender-related experiences on women in science, engineering, and medical fields, and they have contracted with RTI International to gather information for the study. RTI International plans to conduct one-hour, in-depth telephone interviews with approximately 40 women faculty members in science, engineering, and medical fields at research institutions who have been personally impacted by any of the following behaviors in a professional setting within the past 5 years:

  • Someone making repeated, unwanted sexual advaces to you
  • Someone using pressure or manipulation to get you to agree to sexual contact
  • Inappropriate or sexual remarks, sexual-oriented jokes, or comments about cognitive or intellectual sex differences

If you meet these criteria and are interested in being considered for the study, please complete a brief screening form here.

Academic Carework
CoGEA is collaborating with several other groups to collect stories about caregiving experiences in the academy with the goal of sharing stories, best practices, and solutions.

Complete the survey here

Work Climate, Gender, and the Status of Practicing Anthropologists
Prepared for the American Anthropological Association, 18 February, 2009
COSWA is committed to equal opportunity for anthropologists in all work settings. Recognizing that a significant number of anthropology PhDs and nearly all alumni from Master's programs are employed in positions other than as full-time university and college professors, in 2004 COSWA expanded its mission to become more inclusive of and to seek ways to connect to practicing anthropologists. To this end, COSWA designed and administered two work climate surveys to assess the gendered dimensions of anthropological work practice. This report contains the findings from COSWA's 2007 survey to assess the work climate of non-university and college-based practicing anthropologists.
2009 COSWA Report (PDF, 96 pages)
Executive Summary (PDF, 4 pages)

The COSWA Academic Climate Report 2008 addresses topics such as work environment and work-family issues as they relate to gender equity and the experiences of faculty in US anthropology departments. Click here to read the report, "We've Come a Long Way, Maybe: Academic Climate Report of the Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology." (PDF) If you have questions or comments, please send an email to Christina Wasson.

Materials of Interest

Resources of Interest

  • The Academic Job Search Handbook (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996, second edition), by Mary Morris Heiberger and Julia Miller Vick. ISBN: 0-8122-1595-8.
    A comprehensive guide that starts with planning a job search and continues through the tenure process. A large section on written materials includes sample correspondence, professional vitas, and statements of teaching philosophy. A two-year timetable helps plan the search.
  • Alternative Careers in Science: Leaving the Ivory Tower (Academic Press, 1998), edited by Cynthia Robbins-Roth. ISBN: 0-12-589375-2.
    Cynthia Robbins-Roth left an academic biochemistry career in the 1980s for the biotechnology industry and later founded a newsletter and a consulting business. This guide covers 22 alternative careers for scientists, including journalism, publishing, business development, sales and marketing, technology transfer, and public policy.
  • The Curriculum Vitae Handbook: How to Present and Promote Your Academic Career (Rudi Publishing, 1998), by Rebecca Anthony and Gerald Roe. ISBN: 0-945213-26-3.
    This revised edition includes samples of C.V.'s for different stages of academic careers and information on how to create an electronic C.V.
  • Finding an Academic Job (Sage Publishers, 1998), by Karen M. Sowers-Hoag and Dianne F. Harrison. ISBN: 0-7619-0401-8.
    Two deans of social-work schools offer advice on what colleges and universities look for in new faculty members, how to match your credentials to the job market, and how to negotiate a job offer. One section deals with employment issues affecting academic couples.
  • Lifting A Ton of Feathers: A Woman's Guide to Surviving in the Academic World, by Paula J. Caplan (University of Toronto Press, 1993). ISBN: 0-8020-7411-1.
    Based on interviews with hundreds of academic women, this handbook includes suggestions for the job hunt, preparing your C.V., interviewing, handling job offers, and applying for contract renewals and tenure. It also includes a checklist for "woman-positive" institutions.
  • Ms. Mentor's Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997), by Emily Toth. ISBN: 0-8122-1566-4.
    Ms. Mentor was born in 1992 as an advice columnist for woman professors, graduate students, recovering academics, and those who love them. In this question-and-answer guide, she dispenses wisdom on surviving graduate school, landing a job and earning tenure in "pale-male" fields, and what to wear to academic conventions.
  • On the Market: Surviving the Academic Job Search (Riverhead Books, 1997), edited by Christina Boufis and Victoria C. Olsen. ISBN: 1-57322-626-2.
    Based on the assumption that hearing people's stories is therapeutic and empowering, this book collects the accounts of graduate students in many fields who have recently braved the market, some successfully. More than two dozen essays explore such issues as dealing with rejection, the treatment of feminist scholars by hiring committees, relocating, making a living as a full-time adjunct, and leaving the academy and finding alternative careers.
  • A Ph.D. Is Not Enough: A Guide to Survival in Science (Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1993), by Peter J. Feibelman. ISBN: 0-201-62663-2.
    Should you ask that prominent scientist to be your thesis adviser? How do you go about writing a compelling scientific paper? These and other topics are covered in a guide designed to ease the transition from graduate school to professional researcher.
  • re:gender (formerly the National Council for Research on Women)
    The facilitates cooperative exchange among its member centers and research affiliates, and promotes visibility for feminist research and analysis to build stronger links between research, policy, and action.

Society for American Archaeology

  • Editions of the SAA Bulletin contain articles from the Chair of the SAA Committee on the Status of Women in Archaeology

Listserv/Discussion Groups

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