Meeting women’s daily needs through services is vital, and will in itself provide space for women to fulfill their own potential. However, providing services takes place within the constraints imposed by local, national and international rules and regulations, and in the context of social norms and values which ascribe women particular roles. Through advocacy, we can challenge these, and address the root causes of the disadvantages women face.
Despite the injustices we face, women around the world are standing up to claim their rights and to fight inequality. Alongside these brave steps, we should join with others to push for change locally and statewide since we are positioned in the Capital City. In this way, we help transform the big picture for women, as well as improve their daily lives.
Public Policy Agenda
Ending Violence Against Women
- Economic insecurity has devastating consequences in the lives of survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Abuse can impose significant expenses on survivors, including physical and mental health care costs, lost wages, safety planning, and relocation costs. Furthermore, economic abuse can result in life-long consequences due to job loss, debt, damaged credit, or coercion into crime. When combined with today’s high cost of living, shortage of good jobs, and diminished safety net, these impacts of abuse severely limit survivors’ options and ability to achieve safety and justice.
- We advocate for a wide range of economic justice issues affecting women, from the glass ceiling to poverty. These include welfare reform, livable wages, job discrimination, pay equity, housing, social security, and pension reform, and much more.
- Earned Paid Sick Time– Women are much more likely to have caregiving responsibilities in addition to their paid employment, including caring for elderly parents, children or ill spouses/partners. Without paid sick days, women are often left with no choice but to forgo pay in order to meet their families’ health care needs. More than 2 million Michigan workers are not able to take a paid sick day when they are ill. More than three in four food service and hotel workers (78%) do not have a single paid sick day. Workers in child care centers and nursing homes are also overwhelmingly lack paid sick days. For these families, each time they take needed time off, they risk their families’ economic security and jeopardize the public’s health.
- Affordable Child Care– When asked what is the most important issue affecting financial stability, mothers talk about the cost of childcare. For middle-income families, full-time childcare is unaffordable. Mothers are under great stress to find care for their children while at work. The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies have noted that even families living at twice the federally designated poverty level struggle to afford child care, and single parents face an especially immense challenge. Nationally, a family of three living on about $36,000 a year – twice the federal poverty level – would pay more than a quarter of that income to send an infant to a child care center.
- Women’s health has been a low priority for a long time and is an important part of the conversation when we discuss a family’s economic stability.
- Tampon tax
- Infant & Maternal Mortality
- Maternal Incarceration
- We are committed to fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in all areas, including employment, housing, public accommodations, health services, child custody, and military policies. We are committed to educational efforts that combat the adverse effects of homophobia, promote positive images in the media and ultimately ensure civil rights protection for all. We assert the right of LGBTQIA individuals to live their lives with dignity and security, and marriage equality for all.
- Equality in pay, job opportunities, political structure, social security, and education will remain an elusive dream without a guarantee of equality in the U.S. Constitution. The progress we have made — and must continue to make — towards women’s equality can be lost at any time because those advances depend on legislation that can be (and has been) weakened or repealed by Congress.
Send A Letter
The best way to get what you want is to be an active advocate. This can be done by voting, calling Congress, and writing to your representatives (and much more, these are just a few). Below are PDFs that you can fill out and send to our Senator and Representative regarding issues important to what we here at the Women’s Center believe.
The letter above is to promote women participants in labor job training and workforce development.
The letter above is to support the exemption of feminine hygiene products from the sales tax.