The Bureau of Women’s Affairs was established by 5GCA Chapter 1 Article 8 on May 17, 1991. It is the only agency mandated to represent the female population in public policy process and increase their efficiency and advance their opportunities. BWA was dormant for nearly a decade, however it was revived by Maga’Haga Lourdes Leon Guerrero in January 2019, to address various social, economic, and cultural issues facing women and other marginalized members of Guam’s community.
The Bureau of Women’s Affairs originally started out as an executive order in 1988, during the administration of Governor Joseph F. Ada. In 1991, Senators Herminia Dierking, Pilar Lujan, and Marilyn Manibusan introduced Bill 116 into the 21st Guam Legislature to legally establish the Bureau of Women’s Affairs as a separate entity within the Executive Branch of the Government of Guam. In the Legislative Intent section of the bill, the three senators wrote that the Guam Legislature “recognizes that Guam's population is more than one hundred thousand, of whom slightly more than one-half are female;” that “Guam's large female population have been without adequate representation within the government of Guam, and the members of the Guam Legislature recognize that such representation is vitally needed in the various political, social, cultural, and economic structures and activities of the territory;” and that the Guam Legislature “is committed to equal rights for women, as evidenced by the unprecedented number of women serving in key staff positions throughout the government including those elected to the Legislature.” Bill 116 received unanimous support in the Legislature, and Public Law 21-23, creating the Bureau of Women's Affairs, was signed by Acting Governor Frank F. Blas on May 17, 1991.