Over the past decade, the agenda has broadened, and the priorities have changed.

That's what hundreds of women, in Washington for the 10th anniversary of the National Women's Conference in Houston, said during a series of forums yesterday.

"We first thought we would celebrate the 'Spirit of Houston,' " the theme for the first conference, said Mal Johnson, a broadcast journalist and planning chair of this weekend's conference. "But we decided we needed to do more than that . . . . When we see homeless women, children without adequate health care, elderly women without their needs being met, we have to ask if we have gained what is rightly ours.

"We're not sure our entire plan has been implemented," Johnson said. "Although 10 years ago we discussed issues pertinent to the times, there has been a change in priority. Peace is an issue now. Women are so noticeably missing in foreign policy. We need to talk about how we can get women elected, become entrepreneurs. Those are areas we didn't discuss in Houston."

The first conference in Houston was envisioned by Bella Abzug, then a member of Congress, as a constitutional convention for women. The federally funded conference in 1977 addressed a myriad of issues and drew 2,005 delegates and 12,000 other women who came to observe history. It ended with delegates adopting a 26-point National Plan of Action.

At the anniversary conference, which runs through Sunday at the Sheraton-Washington Hotel, panels were planned to discuss the status of each of those points.

A decade ago, women fought for such rights as pay equity and the ability to have jobs traditionally performed by men. While some women's groups contend that those battles have not been won, they say progress has been made. Today, with the development of what some women call the "feminization of poverty," the women have added to their list of priorities concerns about elderly women on fixed incomes, the growing number of single female heads of households and homelessness.

A discussion by black women on housing turned its attention to past discrimination in housing -- which speakers said is still an issue -- and also to homelessness, the availability of affordable housing and legislation on minimum hourly wages. In another forum, an economist said women are studying foreign policy issues because now they see a correlation with their own lives and concerns, such as how imports affect what they buy and how foreign competition can result in the loss of jobs.

This broadening of priorities has meant the formation of new coalitions of women. Marjorie Parker, a member of the Black Women's Agenda, attributed the defeat of the nomination of Robert H. Bork to the Supreme Court as an outgrowth of one such group.

In the Bork case, Parker said, "we {women} all lived and breathed the same air. We had a goal in mind."

Throughout the day, women spoke of being absent from rooms where foreign policy decisions are made. Abzug, who calls foreign policy "the last frontier," convened a forum in which women offered their perspectives on such issues.

"Recent events -- including Contragate and the stock market crash -- highlight the need for women's participation in economic and foreign policy development," said Abzug, who is president of the Women's Foreign Policy Council.

"We have been acculturated differently," she said. "Women are more concerned with developing peaceful solutions . . . with developing a new vision."