Women’s Foundation of Alabama envisions a society where power and possibility are not limited by gender, race, or place. For 26 years and counting, we have centered the power and voice of women, as we believe those closest to a problem are the most equipped and expert in formulating the solutions to resolve it.

While historically nor presently has reproductive health been core to our mission, it was imperative that we take the time to process and listen to the voices and diverse perspectives of our communities. Our mandate is clear. Our foundation must double down on our longstanding and core commitment to build economic opportunity and mobility for women in Alabama through philanthropy, research, and advocacy. Whether fifty years ago or today, it is always true that women need to be healthy, safe, and economically secure to lead lives that reach their full potential. This is especially true in Alabama where women experience some of the widest wage gaps in the nation, the third highest maternal death rate in the nation, and the fifth lowest labor force participation rate nationally.

The picture is clear. Women have obstacles in their path that, if moved, can change their future and the collective future of our state. We implore state leaders to be bold and proactive in creating conditions through policy and otherwise that truly build a holistic environment for women and families to thrive.

As our commitment, Women’s Foundation of Alabama will continue to listen to our community partners and diligently advocate for funding for improved maternal health outcomes, stronger workplace protections for pregnant workers, expanded access to quality child care, paid leave for hardworking Alabama moms and dads, and other critical policy levers that create conditions for a brighter economic future for all.

We are eager and resolute in continuing to partner with government, civic, and business leaders to build a gender inclusive workforce and economy; to build an Alabama that cares for all women and their families through words and action; to build an Alabama that fully embraces the reality that when women move forward, communities move with them.

– Melanie R. Bridgeforth, MSW, President and CEO, Women’s Foundation of Alabama

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