The Office of Women’s Advancement & Advocacy (OWAA), a Division of the Delaware Department of Human Resources, was established in the fall of 2017 through House Bill (HB) 4 of the 149th General Assembly. Embracing a commitment to catalyzing change, OWAA is dedicated to advancing the equality and equity of women in every facet of society across the state of Delaware.
Meet Our Team
Emily Belitskus, Melanie Ross Levin, Michelle Wall, Kim Lowman
OWAA operates with a defined set of responsibilities aimed at driving positive change:
Fostering Collaborations: We actively facilitate partnerships among governmental entities, individuals, organizations, businesses, and institutions to collectively eliminate gender-based bias and discrimination.
Information Sharing: We are dedicated to gathering and disseminating information on the status of women, conducting research projects that shed light on their standing in Delaware.
Policy Guidance/Recommendation/Legislative Proposals: OWAA plays a crucial role in advising executive and legislative bodies, offering insights into the impact of proposed legislation on women through comprehensive reports, statistics, and testimonies. We also provide recommendations for the implementation of gender-based legislation or policies, ensuring a proactive approach to fostering inclusivity. OWAA also actively contributes to the legislative landscape by making specific proposals to eliminate discriminatory laws and practices, promoting a fair and just society.
Educational Initiatives: Through the production and distribution of educational and informative media materials, we strive to create awareness and empower individuals with the knowledge to drive change.
Staff Support for Governor Appointed Commissions and Committees: The Office of Women's Advancement and Advocacy also provides staff support to the Delaware Commission for Women and the Delaware Women's Hall of Fame Committee. The Delaware Commission for Women is responsible for advising the Office of Women's Advancement and Advocacy on strategic planning, project development and programming. The Delaware Women's Hall of Fame Committee fosters an understanding of, and an appreciation for, the many contributions Delaware women have made to their homes, communities, the state, and nation, and annually recognizes the achievements of remarkable Delaware women through the Delaware Women's Hall of Fame. Meetings for both the Commission and the Committee are open to the public. Upcoming Meetings.
At OWAA, we believe that by working collaboratively and proactively, we can pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable future for women in Delaware.