On July 18, the inaugural class of Fellows graduated from our Women’s Policy Institute (WPI). Led by our Senior Director of Advocacy & Community Engagement, Felicia Stewart, the Fellows included 21 women…Read more
It is not enough for us to invest solely in programmatic solutions to accelerate economic opportunity for women. Without meaningful change in systems, women and their families will never have a complete pathway to success. This is why we advocate for nonpartisan policies that break down barriers.
In the last two decades, we have invested over $5 million in innovative solutions that accelerate economic opportunities for women and their whole families. These investments have transformed the lives of over 5,100 women and their children.
Yet too many women and their families continue to experience complex social conditions that philanthropy alone cannot address.
In order to have a more holistic impact, we formally engage in state-level advocacy and intentionally pursue public policies that create long-lasting, systemic change for women.
A bold and non-partisan strategy, our Agenda for Women is a platform for all Alabamians seeking to build a stronger state and accelerate women’s economic opportunity by prioritizing gender equity.
All Alabamians benefit when women are able to fully participate in the formal economy, yet throughout the pandemic, women have involuntarily left the labor force as child care options disappeared.
The Agenda for Women urges Alabama lawmakers to advance equity by enacting policies that support accessible quality child care, equitable wages, healthcare access, and inclusive workforce development.
This year, the Agenda for Women renews The Women’s Fund’s efforts to highlight women as key drivers of the state’s economy. According to The Women’s Fund’s recent report, Status of Women in Alabama, raising Alabama women’s labor force participation rate to the national average, currently the second lowest in the country, could add 80,941 women to the workforce. This would simultaneously move the state closer to its workforce goals and women and their families closer to economic security.
With women bearing the brunt of the pandemic and disproportionately being impacted by unemployment, it is vital to address women’s unique needs and barriers with practical policy initiatives like those presented in the 2021 Agenda for Women. The Women’s Fund is calling on the Alabama Legislature to understand and address the unique needs of women in this critical moment.
The time for change is now.
Based on research on the conditions impacting women’s economic well-being, The Women’s Fund’s 2021 Agenda for Women includes the following common-sense policy priorities and goals:
- Grow the state’s investment in post-secondary education workforce models that strengthens the pipeline for women to move into in-demand jobs.
- Secure state investments in quality child care.
- Increase access to healthcare through Medicaid expansion which could provide health insurance for an additional 152,000 Alabama women according to The Women’s Fund’s 2019 Clearing the Path report, funding the Maternal Mortality Review Committee which works to understand and mitigate Alabama’s high rate of maternal death, and passage of anti-pregnancy discrimination legislation.
The Women’s Fund is building our own Women’s Policy Institute (WPI), a durable and permanent advocacy operation that will bridge the gap between the legislative process and Alabama’s diverse communities.
Our WPI Fellowship is a 40-hour experiential training for individuals who want to build their skills in state-level public policy advocacy and leadership.
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To sign up for our legislative updates and advocacy action alerts, click here. The Alabama Legislature adjourned Monday, May 17, wrapping up session with several major wins for women and our 2021…Read more
This is an opinion piece from Kim Holt Cochran, Vice President, External Affairs. It originally appeared in the Birmingham Business Journal Guest Notebook. While running errands in the last few weeks,Read more