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Ms. Foundation for Women Advocates ‘Women’s Takeover’ of Congress

Women Bearing Burden of Government Shutdown

NEW YORKOct. 7, 2013—The Ms. Foundation called on the nation’s women today to reimagine a U.S. Congress in which public well-being, not personal interest, dictates this nation’s priorities. The Ms. Foundation launched a “Women’s Takeover” campaign calling on women to remake our national politics in the public interest.

“The self interest of a few predominately white men is disfiguring our democratic process,” said Ms. Foundation for Women Interim President and CEO Dorothy Q. Thomas. “Everything from access to health care and early childhood education to prevention of economic inequality and interpersonal violence would be vastly improved, rather than defunded, if Congress served the public good rather than private interest.”

The government shutdown, for example, has jeopardized basic necessities for millions of women and their families:

  • The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) was deemed “non-essential,” jeopardizing food, nutritional information and health care referrals for the nearly 9 million low-income women and their children who rely on it.
  • More than 20 Head Start programs have already closed, with more expected if the government shutdown drags on. Women across the country are losing educational and other services for their children, and facing an emergency need for child care in the absence of a caregiver.
  • Some federally funded domestic violence shelters have stopped receiving reimbursement for their services, including facilities in Vermont and Montana.

The Ms. Foundation’s campaign encourages supporters to reimagine a Congress that acts in the public interest. In the Ms. Foundation’s vision:

  • Congress would be celebrating the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, with all aspects of women’s health care intact, including provisions providing birth control and other preventive health care services with no co-pay.
  • The national focus would be on expanding health care access to communities underserved by the ACA, particularly immigrants.
  • Congress would repeal the discriminatory Hyde Amendment, equalizing access to the full range of reproductive health care services, including abortion.

“If Congress can't act to preserve basic well-being, women will,” said Thomas. "As 54 percent of the electorate and 47 percent of the workforce, we can't afford not to."

 

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The Ms. Foundation for Women fights to eliminate barriers for every woman in the U.S. For 40 years, we have worked tirelessly to secure women’s rights and freedoms with a special commitment to building the power of low-income, immigrant and women of color. At our core, we are advocates giving a voice to women to elevate their most pressing issues. We’re continually investing funds, time, expertise and training in more than 100 trailblazing organizations nationwide to secure a better future for ourselves, our families and our communities.

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