One way we work to achieve our mission of racial, gender, and social equity is through Advocacy.

Advocacy

The YWCA remains at the forefront of addressing issues of racial and gender inequities. We are a member of a regional and national movement working together to strengthen our voice in the local, state and national governments. The YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts strives daily to continue to provide opportunities to help women and their families reach their fullest potential. We will continue to take social action towards racial justice, women’s economic advancement and the empowerment of women and girls.

YWCA Southeastern MA staff and supporters joined a regional cohort of advocates at Women's Advocacy Day in May 2019.
YWCA Southeastern MA staff and supporters joined a regional cohort of advocates at Women's Advocacy Day in May 2019.

What issues do we advocate for?

Improved policies and public awareness on the disparity of quality, affordable childcare in Massachusetts. Childcare affects family stability, workforce participation, children’s healthy development and school readiness, and the early education workforce. The childcare system is lacking resources and funding at all levels. Massachusetts is the least affordable state for center-based child care for infants ($20,125 annually) and toddlers ($18,586 annually), and among the least affordable states for four-year-old care ($14,256). Low-income families have fewer options for high-quality childcare.

Click here to read more about YWCA SEMA's campaign for Universal Childcare.


Increased Access to Disposable Menstrual Hygiene Products in Prisons, Homeless Shelters, and Public Schools (HD2272/SD1381). Lack of access to menstrual products forces menstruating people to use unhygienic substitutes, or to use menstrual products for unsafe periods of time. Menstrual products are a health necessity. Non-menstruating people walk into a bathroom expecting their basic bodily needs to be met, yet this is not the case for menstruating people.

The YWCA's Girls Exclusive program has been advocating for Menstrual Equity and an end to Period Poverty through their self-named initiative, Justice Flow, and you can follow their advocacy work in the news, too!

You can read more about YWCA SEMA's Menstrual Access Advocacy Project here


A Fair and Complete 2020 Federal Census Count. Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census to determine the number of people living in the United States. The 2020 Census is extremely important to us at the YWCA. The census is not just a head count; it determines political representation and allocation of more than $675 billion in state and federal funding to communities each year. Federal law protects your census responses. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics. You, your family, and your community deserve representation and resources. We all count!

Click here to read more about the 2020 Census and you can complete the census today!

What does our advocacy work look like?

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Legislative Advocacy

Legislative advocacy refers to efforts to influence legislation, or official laws. We do this through contacting our legislators – city councilors, state legislators, and federal legislators – to share our views on an issue and ask them to vote a specific way on a bill. We used legislative advocacy to help pass An Act to Establish Pay Equity and the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program.


Coalitions

When several groups share a common goal, they can form a coalition to work together to have that goal met. An advocacy coalition may focus on addressing legal, political, or social issues. We used the method of joining a coalition when we joined with the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women and other supporters of pay equity and PFML at Women's Advocacy Day, held each year in the spring at the Massachusetts State House.

Mobilization of public support and action

Mobilizing public support and action includes providing information to our network about legislation, policies, or social or political movements related to our mission, and then providing information about how people can take action. This may include asking people to contact their legislator, participate in a rally, or share information on social media about the importance of an issue.

Questions about our advocacy? Contact Jordan Latham, Director of Advocacy and Resource Development, jlatham@ywcasema.org or (508) 999-3255.

Please click HERE to view the YWCA USA Advocacy Page!


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