Ms. Foundation for Women Spearheads Initiative to Develop a National Blueprint for Women’s Economic Agendas
The push for an increase in the minimum wage and paid family leave has gained momentum over the past few years in cities and states across the country. However, these efforts are only one piece of a more comprehensive approach to support women in achieving economic security.
Largely created by the mobilizing power of low-income families and advocacy organizations working together, this momentum is occurring at a time when major demographic shifts are underscoring the power of women, specifically women of color, in the political, economic and social life of the United States. While these issues are essential, policies must address the full spectrum of women’s lives, including access to comprehensive health care and freedom from violence in the home, community, and workplace.
Right wing pundits and politicians are drumming up support around a reactionary base to garner votes. Tax loopholes continue for wealthy individuals and corporations, while hardworking Americans are forced to rely on government subsidies to offset abysmally low wages earned primarily by women in low-wage sectors. Both parties have been complicit in rolling back legislation and government programs won through people’s movements, in favor of corporate safety nets.
Across the U.S., there has been a groundswell of grassroots and legislative efforts to catalyze change with a gender lens. In five states alone, legislators and policy advocates have developed women’s economic agendas to raise the visibility and importance of issues impacting women’s economic security.
The Ms. Foundation for Women is investing in women’s economic security by conducting an analysis of the benefits of Women’s Economic Agendas, while also investing in grassroots led strategies to uplift women in the American South.
Over the course of 2016, the Ms. Foundation for Women will conduct interviews and survey leaders of state-led women’s economic agendas, including grassroots organizations and public officials; study the current slate of legislative efforts underway; and identify emerging issues that will impact the economic well-being of women in the near future. The Ms. Foundation will also invest in the power of women’s grassroots organizing in the American South by providing catalytic grants to Southern based organizations to build women’s economic agendas.
These collective efforts will culminate in the publication of a national blueprint for women’s economic justice that will be released in 2017 to help guide legislative efforts in the new administration and in states across the U.S.
“This effort reflects the Ms. Foundation for Women’s ongoing commitment to support and bolster grassroots initiatives that translate into effective policies to strengthen women’s economic security,” said Aleyamma Mathew, Director of the Women’s Economic Justice Program at the Ms. Foundation for Women. “We see this as an opportunity to learn from challenges and successes, and invest in grassroots efforts to develop a comprehensive national blueprint for a Women’s Economic Agenda.”
This initiative will complement the many efforts of the foundation, particularly Prosperity Together, where the critical importance of women funds will be highlighted in creating innovative solutions to long standing problems.” said Ms. Foundation for Women President and CEO Teresa C. Younger.
For more than 40 years, the Ms. Foundation for Women has secured women’s rights and freedoms with a special commitment to building the power of low-income, immigrant and women of color. The foundation invests funds, time, expertise and training in trailblazing organizations nationwide.