Kansas Women's Political Caucus records
The Kansas Women's Political Caucus was formed in 1972 to encourage the participation of women of all social classes, ages, cultural backgrounds, and political affiliations in government. Membership was opened to men in 1974. This collection of the organization's records includes correspondence, minutes, membership information, political pamphlets, as well as materials relating to the National Women's Political Caucus, local Kansas caucuses, and affiliated groups.
- 1972 - 1979
- Kansas Women's Political Caucus (Organization)
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Conditions Governing Use
Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.
Administrative History of Kansas Women's Political Caucus
The Kansas Women's Political Caucus (KWPC) was formed on March 4, 1972, only a few months after the National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC) was organized for all fifty states. The primary purpose of the KWPC was to bring more women into active participation in government at all levels.
The Caucus aimed to reach women of all social classes, ages, ethnic backgrounds, and political allegiances. The Caucus was for women who saw a need to rearrange the priorities of American society, who were willing to share in that responsibility, who sought to correct injustices that diminished the dignity of every human being, and who wished to work toward the realization of total equality for women.
To achieve this purpose, the goals of the KWPC were as follows: to encourage the formation of local caucuses and to coordinate their activities; to create political awareness through education; to encourage reform of existing political party policies which have excluded women; to encourage women to seek elective political office; to work actively for the election or appointment to positions of political power of women who supported the goals of the KWPC; and to enlist the active participation of women and men who will work for the realization of feminist concerns and humanist goals.
Membership in the KWPC was open to all women, and as of February 2, 1974 to all men who maintained a Kansas voting residence and who supported the goals of the Caucus. Payment of dues provided combined membership in a local chapter, the KWPC, and the NWPC: the dues were distributed as well. The KWPC held Annual conventions where officers read yearly reports, elections were held, speakers and workshops provided educative programs, and a business meeting resolved organizational and legislative issues before the Caucus. There were membership and convention scholarships available.
The KWPC included local chapters in Kansas City, Dodge City, Independence, Lawrence, Manhattan, Topeka, and Wichita. Some of the issues which were of particular interest to the KWPC were reproductive freedom and abortion, the Equal Rights Amendment, the elimination of sex-role stereotyping in textbooks, the elimination of inequities in the extension of credit, equal employment opportunity, public health, and day care.
By-laws adopted in 1973 provided that the State Policy Council (SPC) would be the governing body of the KWPC. SPC members were elected for three year rotating terms, with a limit of two consecutive terms. Three members were elected from each Congressional District. The SPC elected the following officers for one year terms: Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer; an Historian was added later. The SPC usually met four times a year. An Ad Hoc Committee on Structure proposed suspending the KWPC by-laws at the 6th Annual Convention in 1977, citing several reasons why the SPC working under the 1973 By-laws had proved inadequate. They proposed an Interim Plan that included a By-laws Committee to study and recommend new procedures for approval at the 1978 Annual Convention. It appears that the proposed amended By-laws presented in 1978 were adopted. The new structure allowed for a more broadly-based committee structure consisting of a Steering Committee, an Administrative Committee, and a Nominating Committee. In 1978, the Political Action Committee was formed as a standing committee with its own officers and by-laws. There existed within the KWPC a caucus of Republican women.
2 Linear Feet (2 boxes + 2 oversize folders)
Scope and Contents
This collection contains assorted organizational records and other printed materials gathered and deposited at various times by the Lawrence chapter of the Kansas Women's Political Caucus and by Linda P. Griffin, Historian of the state caucus and a member of the Lawrence chapter.
The papers span the years from 1972 to 1979, but the heaviest concentration is from 1973 to 1976. There are organizational papers of the Kansas Women's Political Caucus, which include correspondence, by-laws, agendas, minutes, membership lists, committee business, materials from Annual Conventions (1973 to 1978), publications, newspaper clippings, and assorted other printed materials.
Acquired through the Kansas Women's Political Caucus, there are also organizational records of the National Women's Political Caucus, Kansans for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and the National Organization of Women (national and state). There are also materials from various local Kansas caucuses, as well as several national publications relating to the woman's movement.
RH MS 176
RH MS R8
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Deposit, Kansas Women's Political Caucus, 1975; deposit, Linda Griffin, Caucaus historian, 1975.
Previously shelved at RH MS 155
- Guide to the Kansas Women's Political Caucus Collection
- Kansas Women's Political Caucus records
- Finding aid prepared by NY, 2007; revised by, cl 2010; revised by skt, 2010
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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- Preferred citation
Kansas Women's Political Caucus Collection , Kansas Collection, RH MS 176, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries