Terms of Reference

The mandate of the IAU Working Group (WG) on Women in Astronomy is to collect information, propose measures, and initiate actions in support of, or to advance equality of opportunity for achievement between women and men in astronomy, in the IAU and in the world at large. The WG was established by the IAU Executive Committee and reports directly through the IAU General Secretary.

Membership in the WG is open to any Member of the IAU who wishes to contribute to its activities.

The activities of the WG are managed by an Organising Committee (OC) of typically 10-16 persons, who elect two Office Bearers ⓠa Chair and Deputy Chair for three-year terms. The incoming Office Bearers must be ratified by the Executive Committee of the IAU. The Chair is responsible for organising the activities of the OC and the Deputy Chair for maintaining a membership list for the WG in collaboration with the IAU Secretariat. These duties may be varied with the approval of the WG members.


  • The activities of the WG should include submission of a brief annual activity report to the IAU Executive Committee and a more substantial report after each IAU General Assembly, outlining the plans of the WG for the next three-year period, including the proposed new Office Bearers and OC.
  • The WG should ensure that sessions on Women in Astronomy are organised at each General Assembly and Regional Meeting of the IAU, through liaison with the relevant organising committees.
  • The WG should assist the organisers of IAU meetings to ensure an appropriate representation of women among the speakers, session chairs and participants, as well as allocation of grants.
  • The WG should make appropriate efforts to assemble statistical and other information on the status of women in astronomy for all countries, as a basis for developing suitable initiatives for individual countries, regions and globally.
  • The detailed implementation of these and any other activities that are deemed desirable is organised by the OC, in consultation with the IAU Officers or Executive Committee as may be desirable in individual cases.
  • The OC should keep the WG membership informed of the progress on these activities, through the IAU web site or by other suitable means.