In August of 1980, the Alliance Against Women's Oppression (AAWO) was formed out of a process of transformation and struggle begun in the Third World Women's Alliance (TWWA) in late 1979. The newly formed organization resolved to focus its organizing activities primarily on the struggle for women's rights and equality and against the racialized, gendered, classed sexism of the developed North. The AAWO announced itself as a multi-racial alliance of lesbian and straight women. Women of color lesbian issues that had been stubbornly ignored by the mainstream women's movement were part of the political line of the AAWO.
Continuing work initiated and produced by the TWWA, the AAWO persistently clarified the intersectionality of race, gender, class, and sexuality in its political analysis of capitalism and the conditions of women in the transnational economy. AAWO work areas included infant mortality, reproductive rights, sterilization abuse, Central American and African Women's liberation struggles, and Lesbian and Gay rights. The AAWO also continued the political education work of International Women's Day (IWD). AAWO members produced discussion and position papers for AAWO members and the public. AAWO had chapters in Boston, New York, Louisville, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
In order to take up the struggle of women's oppression nationally and internationally, AAWO created coalitions and joined their efforts with other social justice organizations locally and globally. Some of the organizations they were closely associated with were Somos Hermanas, the Nicaraguan Women's Association (AMNLAE), MADRE, South African Women's Organization, Line of March (LOM), and the National Campaign to Restore Abortion Funding (NCRAF). The AAWO identified itself with socialist, womanist/feminist politics, and provisionally based their political line on a Marxist class analysis.
The AAWO joined their efforts with the Reproductive Rights National Network (R2N2) to advocate for abortion rights for low-income women while also calling attention to the involuntary sterilization of migrant and immigrant women of color. In 1984 in response to the U.S.'s continuing intervention in Nicaragua, AAWO organized a delegation, Somos Hermanas, in alliance with the Nicaraguan women's mass organization, AMNLAE.
AAWO dissolved by 1990. The Women of Color Resource Center (1989 to present) was formed with some members from the TWWA and AAWO. Activist organizational work stretching back to the civil rights movement, the Black Women's Caucus of SNCC, the Third World Women's Alliance and the Alliance Against Women's Oppression was evident in the activist and advocacy politics of the Women of Color Resource Center.
From the guide to the Alliance Against Women's Oppression Records MS 699., 1980-1989, (Sophia Smith Collection)