Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Independent Women's Forum
The Independent Women's Forum (IWF) is an organization that, according to its website, was "was established to combat the women-as-victim, pro-big-government ideology of radical feminism." Critics charge that it anti-feminist. The IWF is funded by Richard Mellon Scaife, Koch Industries, and other conservative groups. In October 2003, the IWF announced an affiliation with Citizens for a Sound Economy, now the Americans For Prosperity Foundation , which whom it shares premeses and staff.
Founded by Rosalie Gaull (Ricky) Silberman in 1992, the IWF grew out of the ad hoc group, Women for Judge Thomas .
Although stating its main goal as opposing "radical feminists," the IWF also targets relatively mainstream feminists and feminist organizations, as exemplified by such figures as Hillary Rodham Clinton and such groups as the American Association of University Women.
IWF is a secular counterpart to Religious Right women's groups like Eagle Forum and Concerned Women for America, but these groups often work together. People for the American Way describe IWF as a group that "opposes affirmative action, gender equity programs like Title IX, and the Violence Against Women Act." 
IWF members include academic women who attempt to rebut arguments in favor of measures promoting equality for women in educational affairs. One of these papers, by Judith Kleinfeld , a professor of psychology at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks , has questioned an MIT study  on discrimination against women in MIT's science department, calling their findings "junk science."
IWF's constantly-updated web site shows an ever expanding sphere of concerns, which are viewed from conservatives perspectives.
In October 2004 the Feminist Majority Foundation objected to the U.S. Department of State's decision to award part of a grant to IWF for "leadership training, democracy education and coalition building assistance" to women in Iraq.. IWF will be working in Iraq with the American Islamic Conference and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a think tank with neoconservative ties.
National Advisory Board
- Official site
- List of grants from MediaTransparency.org
- Feminist Majority Foundation Online, "State Department Funds Anti-Women's Rights Group To Train Iraqi Women", Feminist Daily News Wire, October 5, 2004.
- Independent Womens Forum, "IWF Awarded Grant to Support Iraqi Women", September 28, 2004.
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