November 15, 2012

Foundations of Liberty: Network of Enlightened Women

By: AFF Editors

A Mission to be Proud of:

The mission of Network of Enlightened Women or NeW is to cultivate a community of culturally conservative women on college campuses, to create a nationwide network of these women, and to encourage them to become active in their communities. To achieve its mission, NeW focuses primarily on education, expanding intellectual diversity through organizing campus-specific chapter book clubs, sponsoring speakers, and holding national events.

The Facts:

The Network of enlightened Women (NeW) is the nation’s premier organization for conservative university women. Founded on September 29, 2004, NeW began as a response to the lack of representation for conservative females on college campuses. NeW has now expanded to 20 campuses nationwide.

As a junior at the University of Virginia, NeW Founder and President Karin Agness decided to launch NeW after failing to find a college organization for women that promoted conservative principles.  Recognizing the lack of knowledge surrounding female conservatism, Agness and a group of her friends started the NeW movement as a book club. Early NeW chapters met regularly to discuss books such as Christina Hoff Sommers’ Who Stole Feminism?, Danielle Crittenden’s What our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman, and Carrie Lukas’ The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex and Feminism.

Today, NeW chapters continue to discuss topics such as politics, gender, and conservative principles through a book club format but have expanded their educational outreach by hosting prominent speakers, organizing debates and events, and volunteering. Perhaps NeW’s most well known event is the annual Gentlemen’s Showcase that honors young gentleman and seeks to restore respect between young men and women.

Through outreach events like these, Agness hopes to create room for female conservatism within the dialogue of feminism: “We recognize that there are differences between the sexes, embrace femininity, and reject the victim mentality that has come to dominate feminism.” By focusing on education, NeW aims to cultivate a community of conservative women and expand intellectual diversity on college campuses

A word from the President:

The Founder and President of NeW Karin Agness had this to say, “NeW has identified a void at universities and filled it.  NeW’s success is largely due to a growing dissatisfaction with campus feminism.  College women are looking for a positive alternative that resonates with them.”

NeW is looking to expand to more campuses:

Additional chapters continue to be founded as more women learn about NeW.  If you are interested in starting a chapter at your campus or would like more information about NeW, please contact NeW.



Elizabeth Fleming is currently serving as an intern at NeW.