A Federal Budget that Supports Women & Families: An Analysis by the YWCA USA Advocacy Department

The annual federal budget process kicked off on February 9 when President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2017 (FY 2017) federal funding proposal.  The “president’s budget,” as it is commonly referred to, is the opening step in an annual federal budget process that typically also involves passage of budget resolutions in the House and Senate, budget hearings in House and Senate appropriations committees, and ultimately the passage of an operating budget by the October 1 start of the federal government’s fiscal year.

We Must Strengthen Economic Security of Domestic Violence Survivors

IlanaFlemingby Ilana Flemming

Manager of Advocacy Initatives, Jewish Women International

Imagine, for a moment, that you have to flee your home. Imagine that you have to rebuild your life from scratch – find a home, a job, care for your children. Now imagine that you have to do this without cash in your pocket, or without a paycheck, or a credit card, or a bank account. It sounds impossible. Yet this is what victims of financial abuse are facing when they leave their abusers. It is vital that we recognize the deep connections between economic security and freedom from domestic violence, and that our public policies support every victim in escaping a violent relationship, rebuilding her life, and establishing a safe and healthy future for herself and her children.

Domestic Violence Survivors Need Economic Empowerment

QudsiaBy Qudsia Raja

Advocacy and Policy Manager for Health and Safety, YWCA USA

Grab a pen and a piece of paper and, without thinking too much about it, draw the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a victim of domestic violence. No cheating.

Generally, I’d tell you to trust your gut – that the first thing that comes to mind is probably the right answer. In this case, however, you’re probably wrong.

The Journey for Justice for Every Woman


By Tralonne Shorter
Senior Advocacy & Policy Associate for Racial Justice and Civil Rights, YWCA USA 

On September 16th, I was honored to join hundreds of fellow social justice advocates who converged in Washington, DC for the conclusion of the NAACP’s “Journey for Justice March.”

For more than forty days, the cadre of marchers—an inter-generational, inter-racial mixture of faith leaders, laborers, and NAACP supporters— traversed 1,002 miles from Selma, Alabama to Washington, DC, to raise awareness for a fair criminal justice system, restoration of voting rights, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and equitable public education.

YWCA Alaska Takes on Equal Pay

By Hilary Morgan

CEO, YWCA Alaska

In an unprecedented move last May, YWCA Alaska’s Board of Directors resolved to eliminate the gender pay gap in Alaska by 2025. While this would not be an easy undertaking in any state, for Alaska this is an especially daunting task. In 2014, Alaskan women made just 67.8 cents for every dollar paid to men. At almost 10 cents behind the national average, Alaska is ranked 48th in the nation for the gender wage ratio.

Domestic Violence and the Need for Paid “Safe” Days

By Vicki Shabo
Vice President, National Partnership for Women & Families

Vicki Shabo

Vicki Shabo

Recent headlines have served as a painful reminder that domestic violence remains a serious issue in this country. The coverage of a few high-profile cases has sparked a much-needed national conversation, and attention to the problem and the types of supports survivors need must continue. This month is an especially appropriate time to do so.

The Intersection of Poverty and Domestic Violence

By Lecia Imbery
Senior Policy Writer, Coalition on Human Needs

Lecia Imbery

Lecia Imbery

We know that poverty disproportionately affects women and single moms. In 2013, nearly 16 percent of women and nearly 40 percent of families with children headed by a woman lived in poverty, higher than their male counterparts. We know that women who are poor are more likely to suffer from health problems and are more likely to be survivors of domestic violence. We also know that children who grow up poor are more likely to suffer from health issues, developmental delays, behavioral problems, lower academic achievement, and unemployment in adulthood. If we fail to address poverty, particularly amongst women and children, we only perpetuate the cycle of poverty, inequality, and domestic violence.

The Power of the Purse: Why Ending Economic Abuse is Vital to Eliminating Domestic Violence

By Jelena Kolic
Staff Attorney, Legal Momentum

As of late, Kerry Washington and her purple purse are inseparable. Those who think that she is favoring the purse because it goes well with her outfits should think again: far from making a fashion statement, Ms. Washington has been using it to foster public awareness of the fact that domestic violence comes in many forms and that economic abuse tends to be particularly prevalent. Having advocated for victims’ employment and housing rights for many years now, we couldn’t agree more with the message.

Economic Justice Can Help Undo Economic Violence

By Shelley Halstead, J.D.
Reproductive Justice Fellow, National Center for Lesbian Rights

We often hear the figure that women still earn 78 cents to a man’s dollar. However, what that figure fails to capture is how many other factors contribute to an even more significant disparity for some women. Woman of color face even more pay inequity, with black women earning 64 cents to the dollar and Latina women earning 55 cents to the dollar of their white male counterparts. Other marginalized identities likewise impact the pay gap, such as identifying as immigrant women or women in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

National Voter Registration Day is Here!

By Desiree Hoffman
Director of Advocacy and Policy

Desiree Hoffman

Desiree Hoffman

The YWCA USA is excited to partner with Nonprofit VOTE for National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) 2014 on September 23!

Close to 50 local YWCAs across the country are engaged in this day of democracy, and have pledged to register their own staff, or partner with allied organizations such as the League of Women Voters, to vote in the upcoming midterm elections. The stakes are high, with the entire House of Representatives up for grabs and one-third of the Senate up for re-election. And there’s a chance that the House of Representatives could be made up of 20% female Representatives for the first time in its history if key races are won.