To Be Cured of HIV

For about a year, there has been much discussion about the possibility of a cure for HIV. Visit POZ’s website to learn more about the many different aspects to this conversation.

For BABES Network-YWCA’s summer newsletter, we asked the question: What would it be like to be cured of HIV?

Some people in our community have been living with HIV for 6 months and some have been HIV+ for 30 years. Each person’s life has been impacted by their HIV diagnosis in different ways and have done their best to live healthy and engaged lives. Being cured of HIV is not something BABES Network has often thought about – but now that we could possibly have a cure in 10 years, we think it’s important to consider what that would mean for us as individuals and for our communities.

Different people in the BABES community wrote in and shared their thoughts on this question. Here are two of their stories.

I was asked recently what my life would be like without HIV, if we had a cure. I was shocked to realize (and am probably the only person in the world with HIV) that I had never even thought about that possibility in spite of being well informed on the medical advances in that field.

When I stopped to think about it, the first thing that crossed my mind was I would no longer have to watch those I care about and love die from issue’s related to HIV/AIDS. That would be a day to celebrate. It would also be a sad day as most of the world would not be able to afford it, even if it were as cheap as an aspirin tablet. Much as it is today with our treatment options. But, nonetheless it would be a great day for humanity.

On the personal side, it would make no difference to me at all. I would not rush out to get cured, even if I could have it paid for by someone else, again much like today. But the possibility of a cure raises questions I had never even considered, questions of self-worth and the value of my life to the community if I no longer had some of the conditions that have made me somewhat unique, my Hemophilia (bleeding disorder), AIDS and Hepatitis C infection. These are difficult dilemmas I’m sure I will be wrestling with for many years to come.


Ever since Timothy Ray Brown (the Berlin patient, 2007) was cured of HIV there have been quiet conversations among family and friends about the possibility of a cure. But that’s all it was, just talk. Today, because of Mr. Brown’s treatment we know so much more, and a cure is becoming nearly a reality. So what would a “CURE” mean to you?

In my life, for me, that idea creates more questions than answers. Would everyone still living get the cure? Would we be required to get the cure? Would AIDS service organizations just close up shop or would they be phased out over time? Would there still be case management and/or clinics like Madison? Would those of us who have AIDS and are disabled be required to return to work after the cure? Would HIV/AIDS funding be cut from the national budgets? Would prevention still be a priority? Would there be support groups for people who are cured and trying to find balance in their new reality? And most importantly, how would I spend all that time that is being taken up with doctor’s appointments and self-advocacy?

I was diagnosed on July 1st of 1985 just seven days after my 21st birthday. My whole adult life has included living with HIV. Quite frankly, I did not expect to live this long and, I’m not sure that I know any other way to live. Please don’t get me wrong, I want a cure to be available. No one should have to live with our reality. But I’m also afraid of the unknown. I’m pretty adept at advocating for myself and use a minimum of services but if I run into trouble I have that safety-net of case management. I just survived breast cancer, am turning fifty and I’m entering yet another phase of my life. If the cure was available to everybody in ten years when I’m turning sixty would I go for it? I honestly don’t know but I hope so.

But here is something I do know! Along with continued self-care, medical care and self-advocating, we as HIV + people need to start having earnest conversations on policy regarding the “CURE”. As always, we need to be proactive. We need to look at the science and both the pro’s (and there will be many) and the con’s and create smart policy. Otherwise we may be just as overwhelmed as the day when we were first diagnosed.


Visit the BABES Network-YWCA website to learn more about our program and to get in touch with a BABES Peer Advocate, email us or give us a call at 206.720.5566 or toll-free at 888.292.1912. Email us to start receiving newsletters and/or e-newsletters.

Cross-posted with permission from YWCA Health Access. Follow BABES Network YWCA on Twitter.

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Women & Incarceration: A Crucial Conversation in Cambridge and Beyond

By Anna J. Weick
Administrative Assistant, YWCA Cambridge

“[Prisons] are not places for human beings with spirits inside of them” – Andrea James

Anna Weick

Anna Weick

In the past 30 years, women have become the fastest-growing incarcerated population in the United States, and activists in Cambridge are determined to fight for alternatives.

This past Wednesday, the Cambridge Women’s Commission, the YWCA Cambridge, the Cambridge Restorative Justice Working Group, & On The Rise came together for an evening event focused on the impact of incarceration on women and families. The evening began with the screening of “Grey Area,” a documentary that follows the lives of incarcerated women in an Iowan maximum security prison. Attendees then participated in restorative justice-focused circle discussions about their own connections to the issues of incarceration, violence against women, institutionalized racism, and poverty. During the closing session, Andrea James of Families for Justice as Healing and Charyti Reiter of On The Rise spoke about their own experiences and work with issues of incarceration and its impact on women. At the end of the evening, audience members were asked to pledge one action they would each take in response to the discussion.

Evidence shows that the prison industrial complex impacts people of color, women, and LGBTQ people in disproportionately high numbers. Across the U.S., the number of incarcerated women grew by 21.6 percent from 2000-2009. The racial and ethnic disparities of incarcerated women are impossible to ignore; African American women are three times more likely than white women to be incarcerated and Latina women are 69% more likely as compared with white women. While only 44% of incarcerated men have minor children, 65% of incarcerated women do, and 1 in 25 women in state prisons enter prison while pregnant. An alarmingly high number of incarcerated women (85-90%) have a history of victimization through domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and/or rape.

Further research shows that queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people, predominantly women of color, not only face high rates of incarceration, but they also face alarming rates of poverty and homelessness, deportation/detention, and other related forms of state violence. The Sylvia Rivera Law Project details about such violence against transgender and intersex people incarcerated in men’s prisons in their report “It’s war in here.”

What next steps can be taken? The Jobs Not Jails coalition rallied on the Boston Common this past April, championing a plan to direct money from new prison construction into job creation. The FREE CeCe documentary project, featuring actress Laverne Cox, focuses specifically on the violence faced by trans women of color. Andrea James of Families for Justice and Healing is organizing the “Free Her Rally” in Washington D.C. on June 21, 2014 with the ultimate goal of ending the war on drugs and mass incarceration. The Massachusetts Women’s Justice Network has information about community alternatives to incarceration for women. The Massachusetts Bail Fund advocates for changes in the inequitable bail system and funds low-income folks to help them meet bail. The Pretrial Working Group addresses a number of goals related to the reform of pretrial practices, new jail construction, and community-based incarceration alternatives. Locally, Massachusetts just became the 20th state to pass an Anti-Shackling bill, which created a state-wide prohibition on the use of restraints or shackles with incarcerated women who are giving birth. The momentum is growing, and Massachusetts has the opportunity to become a leader in this struggle.

If Cambridge wants to continue its legacy of striving for a just, humane, and compassionate society, we need to commit to supporting incarcerated women and families from our community.

Anna J. Weick is a community advocate and activist living in Cambridge, MA. She works for the YWCA Cambridge and is a Commissioner with the Cambridge GLBT Commission. 

Cross-posted with permission from CCTV

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, Hate Crimes, Racial Justice, Violence Against Women, Women's Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If Our Country Wants to Reduce Sexual Assault on Campuses, We Must . . .

By Mike Domitrz 
Founder of The Date Safe Project

START BEFORE THEY GET TO CAMPUS (in fact before they get to high school).

RESPECTTo truly reduce sexual assault and sexual violence on college campuses, we need a movement focused on cultural transformation that takes place years before a college student steps on campus. If we really want to lower sexual assault on university campuses for the long-run, our country must move to educating the youngest of all genders on respect, boundaries, and honoring every individual as being valuable.

Prior to students reaching the point at which there is a strong potential for them to be participating in sexual activity, curriculum needs to be instituted in schools that is age appropriate at teaching “how to” skills sets for sexual decision-making that honors every person’s choices and boundaries.

Our country needs to proactively teach that the beauty and amazement of wonderful sexual experiences requires for BOTH people to want the sexual activity; both people to be of an age of understanding their choices (age of sexual consent); both people able to verbally fully communicate likes and dislikes; both people to be of sound mind; both people able to ask for what they want and don’t want; and to honor the answer of your partner when you do request sexual activity (consent).

Until this transformation is in place, universities need to be teaching “How To” skills for requesting and honoring consent; providing students the precise words to support survivors coming forward; and teaching specific strategies for bystander intervention.

If everyone is asking first and honoring the answer, each person’s boundaries would be respected at all times. If every survivor felt fully supported in coming forward, more survivors would feel safe and comforted coming forward.

Bystander intervention is important to stop the crime of sexual assault that frequently is excused in our current culture (people calling a alcohol-facilitated sexual assault a “drunk hookup” is unfortunately common – doing so minimizes the trauma of the crime and results in few people doing anything to intervene and thus stop the perpetrator).

Regardless of what we are seeing in PSA (Public Service Announcements), Bystander Intervention should be taught to ALL people of all genders. We need to be careful about promoting any messaging based on the concept of “Men Protect Her.” Such messaging reinforces unhealthy gender roles and forgets the fact that all genders are able to make a positive impact (and that survivors can be of any gender).

The well-meaning, yet misguided concept of “Men Protect Her” reminds me of the damage “No Means No” did years ago as an educational campaign. At the time, everyone thought, “‘No Means No’ is a great message!” Except we as a society failed to think of the consequences of the messaging. What happened? With “No Means No,” people ended up blaming survivors for “not saying ‘No’” – instead of the perpetrators who never asked in the first place.

Instead of focusing on “MEN to Protect HER,” we need people to CARE about PEOPLE – all people. Help when you see someone in trouble. The right bystander intervention training will provide you the skills to do so.

This is a golden time for all of us to explore the best approaches for creating long-term cultural transformation. The key is starting WAY BEFORE anyone steps on a college campus.

Cross-posted with permission from

Posted in Beauty and Self Image, Children's Health and Safety, Domestic Violence, Empowering Women, Sexual Assault, Violence Against Women, Young Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Our #BringBackOurGirls Rally Demands Action

By Laura Speer
Marketing & Fund Development Coordinator, YWCA Rockford

As I rushed to prepare myself for work and my kids, ages one to seven, for daycare and school on Tuesday morning, the morning news played mostly unnoticed in the background. An update on the Nigerian girls abducted by the anti-Western Boko Haram terrorist group cycled in and I paused to ask my husband, “Have you heard about this… the 300 girls taken from their school in Nigeria?” He hadn’t.

I had, but just a mention of it weeks before as a flabbergasted media panelist asked, “What about the 300 Nigerian girls kidnapped from their school?” I hadn’t heard anything since; I assumed this meant they had been rescued.

When I got to work, my boss, YWCA Rockford CEO Kris Kieper, and I launched into discussion. “What if those had been American girls?” “What if there had been just one American girl in that group?” We were more aware of the progress, or lack thereof, of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 than this humanitarian issue. We knew we had to do something, at least make local law makers and supporters pay attention. So we pooled our local resources, including YWCA Rockford supporters who’ve traveled to Nigeria for humanitarian work, contacts from our local mosque who have personal ties to Nigeria, and local politicians who have shown support of the YWCA mission. 

We’re holding a rally and social media march today, May 9, at a local Peace Plaza. We’ve gathered local leaders of education, parties with a special interest in making a difference in Nigeria, and politicians to speak on the challenges Nigerian girls and their families face as they seek an education, and demand action for the Nigerian schoolgirls and girls education.

Here are more details about our event. I hope this helps as you plan your own:

Friday, May 9, 2014
9:00 a.m.
Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford, IL

We created a Facebook event page and shared it with the creators of the Bring Back Our Girls page to share with their followers, as well as an email invite (PDF) with Rally and social media march information.

Our agenda includes

  • Flyers (PDF) which we’re passing out to the crowd with instruction for the social media march and signing the White House petition.
  • Opening remarks from YWCA Rockford CEO which touch on the YWCA mission and the unjust practices facing girls around the world.
  • Remarks from the local Rotary Club board chair who organized a humanitarian visit to Nigeria a few years back and has vowed to continue Rotary Club support in Nigeria.
  • Remarks from a Nigerian citizen who lives in Rockford and can offer her own personal connection to the Nigerian event.
  • Remarks from our School Board Superintendent, who will help tie the challenges faced in Nigeria to the mothers, daughters, and families in the crowd.
  • And, closing remarks from a Rockford mom who traveled to Nigeria as well and will deliver our call to action.

As removed and helpless as we feel in this devastating event, we know we can be heard. Just like YWCA leaders going to Capitol Hill during our annual National Conference, we have to increase awareness and let our elected officials know what matters to us — we the people.

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, Children's Health and Safety, Racial Justice, Upcoming Events, Violence Against Women, Young Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3 Questions to Ask About the FY2015 Budget

By Danielle Marse-Kapr
Senior Advocacy and Policy Associate for Economic Empowerment


Danielle Marse-Kapr

It’s that time of year again: Congress and the White House are producing federal budget proposals. The President, and House Republican and Democratic committees, have all released their budgets. Senate proposals from each party will likely come out later this month. Appropriators are working to allot funds to various budget lines.

Our job as advocates is to remind legislators to pass a fair and responsible budget that protects women and families. Here are three questions to ask when interpreting the federal budget and advocating for what women and children need the most:

1. Will This Year’s Budget End the Sequester?

This is the most critical component of analyzing federal budget proposals. Sequestration was never intended to go into effect. It was enacted as a threat, intended to ensure that legislators would do their jobs and pass a fair budget. Instead, the people have been punished with an unreasonable budget. Some of the budget proposals that will come out will include avenues to ending the Sequester over a number of years. Others will ensure that these deep cuts to critical programs continue. If sequestration continues, human services advocates will be forced to continue negotiating away already-minuscule funds.

2. What are the Pay-Fors?

The term “pay-for” refers to the idea that nothing can be added to the budget without finding a way to “pay for it.” While this may appear to be simple budgetary math (you can’t spend more than you have), the pay-fors often do not increase revenue or even eliminate wasteful spending; instead, they are used as political bargaining chips, intended to wear out advocates by forcing them to “choose” between one necessary program and another. Whenever funding is restored or increased in one important funding area, we must inspect from where that money originated.

3. Will the Federal Budget Cut into Important Funding Streams for the YWCA?

YWCAs provide critical services in local communities. Often these services are supported by federal funding through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Victims of Crimes Act (VOCA), the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). In an already challenging economic climate, the women and families we serve will be further harmed by continued cuts in these areas. However, it’s important to always keep question #2 of this list in mind. Additional money designated for our budget priorities is always welcomed, but we must be cognizant of where that money was found.

Understanding the federal budget can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep these three questions in mind when you’re advocating for a fair and responsible budget and you’ll be on the right track. And don’t be afraid to ask your legislators tough questions about the federal budget — the budget not only funds the United States’ programs, but also illustrates our values.

Let’s make sure our national budget values women and families. Contact your legislators today and tell them to support a fair budget that supports women and families by ending sequestration.

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, Children's Health and Safety, Economic Empowerment, Empowering Women, Leadership, Upcoming Events, Women's Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take Action: Tell Your Senator to Pass the Minimum Wage Fairness Act!

By Danielle Marse-Kapr
Senior Advocacy and Policy Associate, Economic Empowerment

Danielle Marse-Kapr

Danielle Marse-Kapr

Every year that Congress fails to increase the federal minimum wage, the value of the minimum wage declines considerably, driving more families into poverty. This is why it’s critical that the Senate brings the Minimum Wage Fairness Act (S. 2223) to a vote today and passes the bill

The Minimum Wage Fairness Act would increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 and raise the tipped minimum wage up from $2.13 per hour. This would give more than 30 million workers a raise – more than half of them women. People of color are also over-represented in minimum wage jobs, as they represent 42% of those earners, even though they make up 32% of the workforce. Increasing the minimum wage would boost wages for millions of women and help close the wage gap.

The Senate plans to vote on the Minimum Wage Fairness Act (S. 2223) today, so reach out to your Senator now and tell them to raise the minimum wage. No one who works full time should live in poverty. Raising the minimum wage is an issue of fairness and equality.

Take action now! Contact your Senator today and tell them to pass the Minimum Wage Fairness Act. 

Join us on Twitter using the hashtags #RaiseTheWage, #1010Means and #WageSecrets.

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Check out our 2014 Stand Against Racism Blog Carnival

By Katie Stanton
YWCA USA Social Media Manager

Eliminating racism is at the center of the YWCA’s mission. That’s why each year local associations participate in Stand Against Racism, a campaign and ongoing public conversation about race and equality.

Stand Against Racism logoIn support of this nationwide campaign, the YWCA USA was proud to convene our blog carnival for Stand Against RacismRacial justice is an integral and defining part of the work of the YWCA. Stand Against Racism is a signature event that furthers our mission to eliminate racism and empower women across the country.

This year, we asked: How are the lives of women impacted by racism?

Responses have come from local YWCAs and guest bloggers from across the U.S. Check out the posts below, and if you have a post that you’d like to include, email Katie Stanton at or link to it in the comments below.

YWCA Hartford Region, The Power of Art as a Vehicle for Social Justice

YWCA Madison, The United States Must Acknowledge the Legacy of Racial Injustice

YWCA Bergen County, Stand Against Racism… What is Racism?

Sara Rachele, Racism as it Affects Women in the Workplace of Music

HealthConnect One, Racial Justice, Difference, and the Peer-to-Peer Model

YWCA Madison, Finding My Identity

Victoria Malaney, The Multiracial Network Stands Against Racism in Solidarity with the YWCA

YWCA Princeton, Is Racism Holding Up Immigration Reform?

YWCA of Brooklyn, How are the lives of women impacted by racism?

YWCA Rochester, Join the YWCA Rochester & Monroe County to Stand Against Racism

YWCA Cortland, Taking A Stand, One Voice At A Time

Check out our hashtag #standagainstracism to see all of the posts and activities that are taking place across the country today, and we welcome you to join the conversation!

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The Power of Art as a Vehicle for Social Justice

Remarks by Rabbi Donna Berman
Executive Director, Charter Oak Cultural Center

At the YWCA Hartford Region’s Stand Against Racism breakfast on April 25, Rabbi Donna Berman gave the following remarks:

“The power of the arts to start conversations we might not otherwise have, to sneak past our intellects and enter our souls and change our perspective, is vast. The arts have this uncanny ability to circumvent politics and ideology and, therefore, fly under the radar and soar directly into our heart. The arts can sneak in beneath the defenses so rigidly held by our intellects and help us get unstuck in our ways. Charles Bukowski said: ‘An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.’

We see the power of the arts as a vehicle for social justice in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which depicted the horrors of slavery and helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War. We saw it in the painting called ‘Le Dejeuner De L’Herbe,’ or, in English, ‘Luncheon on the Grass,’ by Manet, which depicted two fully dressed men deep in conversation, having a picnic in a park with a completely nude woman sitting on the blanket with them. Whatever Manet’s motivation for creating the work, he certainly shocked the art world and, knowingly or not, brought into relief the objectification of women and the power dynamics inherent in how gender was lived in 19th century France. We saw it in a 1968 sitcom called ‘Julia’ starring Dianne Carol, the first African-American woman to have her own television series. We saw it in ‘All in the Family.’ Archie Bunker espoused the views of a vast number of Americans at that time and enabled people to see the absurdity of his racism and, ultimately, of their own. The TV show ‘M*A*S*H’ helped people see, more clearly than perhaps ever before, the suffering that war inflicts, the pathology of hating and killing other human beings. The movie ‘Crash’ exposed the insidiousness of prejudice and stereotyping, even among those who have experienced oppression themselves. And we can’t underestimate the impact of such benign comedies as ‘Ellen’ and ‘Will and Grace.’ We fell in love with the characters and, finding a place in our hearts, they expanded our nation’s imagination about who gay people are and helped viewers see that all of us—whether we’re gay or straight or bisexual or transsexual—have the same fears and insecurities, hopes and dreams.

With art, we grapple together with life’s most vital issues. We grapple with what the piece of art we are experiencing means and, at the same time and often without our even noticing it, we grapple with what our own piece of art, our life, means. And when we dig deeply like that (which art invites us to do, implores us to do), we find that we are various varieties of trees with the same subterranean stream running beneath us.

The great writer, Franz Kafka said, ‘A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.’ The same, I believe, can be said of the arts in general.

On this day, when we stand together against racism, let us not forget what a powerful and essential tool the arts are in the struggle for social justice as they teach us profound lessons about the most important art of all, the art of being human.”

Rabbi Donna Berman is the Executive Director of the Charter Oak Cultural Center, an organization that presents professional multi-cultural arts performances and exhibits that are made accessible to the Hartford inner-city community for free or at a very low cost. 

Donna is known as one of the region’s most moving speakers and visionary leaders. She has touched thousands of lives through her work at the Charter Oak Cultural Center. She had received numerous awards for her exceptional work.

Rabbi Berman holds a Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics from Drew University. In her dissertation entitled, Nashiut Ethics: The Articulation of a Jewish Feminist Ethics of Safe-Keeping, Rabbi Berman developed a method for doing Jewish feminist ethics. At the core of her theology is a commitment to the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam, repairing the world through acts of justice. This is a commitment that she brings to her work at Charter Oak.

Stand Against Racism logoThis post is part of the YWCA Stand Against Racism blog carnival – we invite you to join the dialogue! Post your comment below, share your story and follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #StandAgainstRacism.

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The United States Must Acknowledge the Legacy of Racial Injustice

By Rachel Krinsky
CEO, YWCA Madison

This week, the Supreme Court dealt a serious blow to affirmative action by upholding a Michigan law prohibiting public universities from considering race as a factor for admissions. Also this week, President Obama unveiled a new clemency process intended to reduce prison overcrowding and to begin addressing the stark overrepresentation of prisoners of color resulting from the war on drugs. These contradictory federal decisions cut to the core of our nation’s beliefs about the state of race in the U.S.

The Court’s decision reflects a worldview that insists we live in a post-racial society. This view posits that equal opportunity is now available to all regardless of skin color, that the playing field is even, and that “fairness” means making the same rules for everyone. This denies the continuing effects of historical racial discrimination in admissions. It also ignores the fact that other admissions policies, such as a preference for children of alumni, continue to perpetuate affirmative action for whites.

The clemency plan reflects an alternative worldview that recognizes how past discriminatory policies continue to affect people of color and have a direct causal relationship to current disparities. This plan acknowledges the nation’s responsibility for the effects of drug enforcement and sentencing policies that discriminated against people of color and openly states the intention to begin alleviating the current effects.

The YWCA’s mission focuses on eliminating racism.  We believe that we must talk openly about race and the continuing effects of centuries of discriminatory policies if we ever hope to address the staggering racial disparities in our nation.

Follow YWCA Madison on Twitter: @YWCAMadison

Stand Against Racism logoThis post is part of the YWCA Stand Against Racism blog carnival – we invite you to join the dialogue! Post your comment below, share your story and follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #StandAgainstRacism.

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, Leadership, Racial Justice, Stand Against Racism, Young Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taking A Stand, One Voice At A Time

By Kelly Skinner
Director of Development, YWCA of Cortland

Kelly Skinner

Kelly Skinner

Racism impacts the lives of women creating social division and power structure, which limits opportunities for women in all areas of their lives. Women fight for equal education, health, protection against victimization, (both at home and in society) and take a stand against the social structures that sustain discrimination and exploitation. As the month of April combines two significant recognition days, April 20th as Equal Pay Day and today’s, Stand Against Racism, it’s of great interest that women continue to fight 51 years after the Equal Pay Act when women average 77 cents earned for each male dollar. African American women are less at 69 cents and that number continues to drop even more to 57 cents for Hispanic women.

Women are taking on leadership roles in their careers, their communities and their households with nearly 40% of women being the “bread winner” of the family. We are experiencing national and global movements encouraging women to pursue leadership roles, and women are stepping up, even with the 23 cent, 31 cent, and 43 cent differences in pay when compared to male leaders. Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, published “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” for women to help them achieve their professional goals, and men to contribute to a more equitable society. Women are creating circles all over the world to empower and support each other.

What can we do to eliminate the pay differences for women? In June 2013, New York Legislature failed to pass the proposed 10-point Women’s Equality Act (item #1: Achieve Pay Equity). The legislation to date is not enough to move the Women’s Equality Act forward. We can collaborate, share, learn more, talk to our State Senators and get involved. Bring awareness to your communities through events, social media groups and encourage women to take a stand.

April 20th Equal Pay Day was celebrated at the YWCA of Cortland by collaborating with local establishments and restaurants that sold their goods at 23 cents less to support equal pay for women and to bring community awareness to the challenges women still face in the workforce today.


Follow the YWCA of Cortland on Twitter: @ywcacortland

sar_logoThis post is part of the YWCA Stand Against Racism blog carnival-we invite you to join the dialogue! Post your comment below, share your story and follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #standagainstracism.

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