When Gloria Steinem, Patricia Carbine, Letty Cottin Pogrebin and Marlo Thomas founded the Ms. Foundation in 1973, they introduced the then-revolutionary idea that women themselves could provide leadership, support and solutions to the most pressing issues our country faced. Since then, we have evolved with the larger feminist movement and moved culture, policy and society in new and positive directions. Take a look at our impacts:
2012: Speaking Out on Child Sexual Abuse:
With a national spotlight on the Penn State child sexual abuse scandal, the Ms. Foundation is recognized and cited by the national media as a leading voice on preventing child sexual abuse.
2010: Shedding Light on the "Womancession"
We commission a national poll to explore the effects of the economic downturn on women. The survey reveals that—contrary to conventional wisdom—women are feeling the impact of the recession more acutely than men. Low-income women are in the most precarious situation, the survey reveals.
2006 – 2008: Improving Sexuality Education
Grantees of our Sexuality Education Advocacy Initiative (SEAI) have policy wins in six key states, including passage of the Washington State Healthy Youth Act; mandated comprehensive sexuality education in New Mexico and California; and Montana’s and New Mexico’s rejection of federal abstinence-only money. Created in 2005, SEAI bolsters support for state-based organizations and coalitions and strengthens the sexuality education movement nationwide.
2005: Creating Hope from Disaster
We form the Katrina Women's Response Fund (KWRF) to support immediate needs after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and to offer ongoing support for grassroots women's leadership. The fund prioritizes ensuring the full participation of low-income women and women of color in policymaking decisions. In total, we deliver nearly $3 million to over 40 community-based organizations.
2005: Advocating for Women's Health
With our support, National Women and AIDS Collective (NWAC) is created by Ms. Foundation grantees. NWAC is the country’s first national policy coalition led by and for women living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Today an independent entity, NWAC advances policy solutions at the CDC, the White House and other key decision-making tables nationwide.
1999: Gaining National Recognition
The Ms. Foundation receives a Presidential Award for Excellence to recognize the success of the Collaborative Fund for Women and Economic Development. Since its establishment in 1986, the CFWED has leveraged over $12 million in support of grassroots women’s organizations to promote women’s economic security.
1996: Supporting Women with HIV/AIDS
We create the Women and AIDS Fund, the first national fund solely dedicated to supporting community-based advocacy led by and for women living with HIV/AIDS. Our support in this critical area helps create and sustain a national Women and HIV/AIDS movement.
1993: Empowering Girls
The Ms. Foundation creates Take Our Daughters To Work® Day, one of the most successful national public education campaigns ever launched. It achieved its goal in making girls visible, valued and heard in the workplace, became known to 8 out of 10 people across the U.S., and now involves 35 million participants each year.
1989: Protecting Reproductive Rights
We begin investing in local and state organizing for reproductive health and rights led by and for low-income women and women of color. Over the next two decades, our support enables groups to connect reproductive health and rights to a range of social justice issues and build a diverse movement that will meet all women’s needs.
1980s: Encouraging Economic Independence
At a time when "women" and "economic development" are rarely used in the same sentence, we create the Collaborative Fund for Women and Economic Development (CFWED).
1970s: Defending Women's Safety
We were one of the first funders of domestic violence shelters and sexual-assault hotlines and were early leaders in supporting violence prevention. making us early leaders in supporting violence prevention. Today, we’re a pioneer in building a new movement to end child sexual abuse.
Every day, we help over 100 grassroots organizations nationwide fight for changes like good paying jobs, reproductive health, ending violence against women and girls, and the inclusion of women at decision-making tables. We’ve invested nearly $60 million and influenced other funders to support solutions from the ground up.