Our advocacy plan supports the mission of YWCA Greater Pittsburgh by engaging in strategic initiatives that empower women, especially women and girls of color. We bring attention and focus on the ways they are marginalized so that we can influence the systemic policy change needed to advance race and gender equity locally, statewide, and nationally.
YWCA’s Current Advocacy Priorities
Affordable, Quality Early Care
To protect and improve affordable, quality early care programs, services, and policies that empower women, children, and the families we serve.
- To ensure that families have access to early care programs that meet the accreditation standards of the Department of Human Services and the highest quality ratings of PA Keystone Stars.
- To monitor the Child Care for Working Families Act to insure that working mothers can afford quality care.
- To advocate for policies that increase the wage standards for early care staff professionals.
To strengthen funding, including legislative appropriations, for programs and services that prevent homelessness for the women, children, and families we serve.
To inform and educate our community about the racial justice issues that impact the women, children, and families that we serve, with an emphasis on women’s economic empowerment and civic engagement.
YWCA Awareness Campaigns
YWCA USA’s Week without Violence is just around the corner.
Since it was launched in 1995, the YWCA Week Without Violence has grown from a grassroots initiative into a global movement to end violence against women and girls. At YWCA, we know that not all violence is acknowledged or responded to equally and that some victims go unrecognized altogether. YWCA’s objectives are to educate individuals about their role in preventing the spread of violence and hatred and to heighten awareness of alternatives to violence.
Locally, we’re engaging in advocacy and awareness building. Join us by taking action every day.
- Monday, October 18th: Stand with us in solidarity on social media by sharing why you believe survivors, why it’s important to end gender-based violence, and by imagining a world without violence. Together, we can make a difference.
- Tuesday, October 19th: Contact your congress person and demand action
- Wednesday, October 20th at 12pm: ‘Male Allies and White Accomplices’, an Action Conversation focused on how men, and especially white men, can and should work to end gender-based violence.
Why should I take part in the World Without Violence Campaign and WWV?
Statistics about gender-based violence are shocking and point to a persistent, pervasive, and severe problem in our society.
According to RAINN:
- Every 68 seconds an American is sexually assaulted.
- 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted).
- About 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
- From 2009-2013, Child Protective Services agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence to indicate that, 63,000 children a year were victims of sexual abuse.
And, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:
- Almost half of all transgender people have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, and these rates are even higher for trans people of color and those who have done sex work, been homeless, or have (or had) a disability.
Founded in 2007, Stand Against Racism is YWCA’s annual signature campaign to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities and to build coalitions among those who work for racial justice. Groups of all sizes take part across the nation as they host their own events.
The 21 Day Challenge is designed to create dedicated time and space to learn and strengthen effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership.
Voter Education & Empowerment
YWCA is committed to educating eligible individuals and groups about registering to vote, protecting voting rights, and accessing accurate voter information. Activities include National Voter Registration Day, providing assistance updating and applying for voter registration, and educational opportunities that promote voter empowerment.
- Register to vote & check your voter registration status
- Support Voting Empowerment in your area:
– The Black Political Empowerment Project
– League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh
- Find your polling place