What We Do: Advocacy & Policy
Continuing the Fight for Equality
There's no doubt that things have changed for the better since the Ms. Foundation's inception in 1973. Women are leading and succeeding like never before. Girls today grow up hearing they can be whatever they want to be. But there's more to do. Much more.
Yes, we've made gains toward equal rights, but real justice and gender equality has stalled. That is why we are working to change this depressing status quo through active and vocal advocacy and targeted policy solutions:
- We advocate for policies that will protect our reproductive rights, including access to birth control and abortion.
- We support campaigns promoting economic security for all women, especially those in lower-wage occupations.
- We press legislators and lawmakers to support legislation that helps women living in poverty and offers solutions to lift them out of poverty.
- We advocate for the access to essential health care services for all women in the U.S.
- We champion innovative legislation that aims to address child sexual abuse before it happens.
As the nation's leading voice for women's issues, we use our unique platform to move our society forward for all women. Our advocacy and policy work focuses on four aspects.
Shaping the Conversation
We're committed to keeping women's issues in the national conversation among political, cultural and business leaders, and society at large. We gather the data, analyze the issues and communicate them in terms that resonate with individuals and leaders. We reveal the stories and faces behind the data, and we suggest solutions. In other words, we make sure that everyone--especially those in powerful positions--truly understands the societal impact of gender inequality, through the lens of real women and real lives.
Revealing and Removing Barriers to Gender Equality
There are vast, deep-seated structural and cultural barriers that stubbornly remain in the way of equality for women and girls. Our goal is to tear them down. We're working to shine a national spotlight on gender stereotypes, and shape understanding of how the cultural roles of men and women contribute to fundamental problems, including:
- the sexualization of girls
- the refusal to allow women to control their bodies
- the continuing employment segregation of women into low-paying jobs
- the lack of women of color in leadership roles
- the lack of societal support for child care
We put these and other issues into a larger context of how women are viewed in our society and how common attitudes perpetuate the problems. Through our advocacy work, we ensure that these issues stay in the spotlight and remain on the national agenda.
Advancing Change in Legislatures
We fight to eliminate barriers for all women, and we know that some of the most entrenched barriers to women's advancement are based in the very laws that govern our nation. So, we identify and target specific legislation at the local, state and national level that we know will make a real difference for women. We work in coalition with our grantees, our allies and other like-minded organizations to put real pressure on policy-makers and support progressive legislation, through petitions, letter-writing campaigns and direct action.
Working from the Ground Up
In addition to having a national profile and platform, we are also closely tied with hundreds of grassroots organizations throughout the country. Our grantees are working on a multitude of issues related to gender equality and social justice. We use our status and our resources to amplify our grantees' voices through joint campaigns, coalitions and projects, bringing national attention to their platforms and raising awareness of their work, their challenges and their successes.
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In this conference call, Ms. Foundation grantees discuss attacks to the 14th Amendment and their potential impact on women and families.
Anika Rahman appears on GRITtv to discuss the impact of the economic downturn on women.