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Y Vote? YWCA-MC’s Advocacy Priorities

Categories: Activism, News

Y VoteY Vote? In the year which celebrated the Centennial of the Women’s vote, it is more crucial than ever that we exercise this constitutional right. Making our voices heard at the polls, speaking out about important causes, and dismantling the voting barriers are a few ways we can powerfully address many of the social injustices that still exist for women today.  As a mission-based 501-C3 organization, YWCA-MC does not engage in political campaigns nor take a position on specific candidates. However, we do continue to advocate for causes in alignment with our commitment to eliminating racism and empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

 

Here are some of the priorities we urge you to keep in mind during the upcoming election:

Y Vote? Healthcare

Quality, affordable health care should be accessible to everyone. Repealing the Affordable Care Act would pose severe risks for women’s health including the loss of free contraception and threats to maternal and newborn care. Furthermore, lifetime caps on coverage could be reinstated and insurers could again use pre-existing conditions-prior pregnancies, breast cancer even domestic violence-to deny coverage. Since black and Latin women face higher rates of many chronic illnesses, this could threaten their health the most.

Y Vote? Social Security

Women represent 55.6% of Social Security beneficiaries ages 62 and older, and 65% of beneficiaries are 85 and older. Without it, nearly 9 million more women would live in poverty.  Any discussion of privatizing Social Security or raising the retirement age could be detrimental to the basic existence of all these women.

Y Vote? Childcare

The wage gap contributes to women’s inequality not only in the workplace and at home. Women make up 50% of the national workforce but 95% of the childcare workforce. During the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 60% of childcare centers in the US have closed often pushing women out of the workforce due to the lack of alternative options.  Thus it is crucial for us to advocate for the right to affordable child care.

Y Vote? Pay Equity

Despite equal pay laws that have existed for decades, the gender wage gap remains at roughly 20% for the overall US population.  The wage gap for women of color is even more significant; Latinx women earn approximately 54 cents for each dollar a caucasian male earns.  These wage discrepancies significantly impact women and families particularly  Latinx, black, and Native American communities where women are the primary breadwinners.

Y Vote? Family and Sick leave

No one should be forced to choose between their health and their economic livelihood. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, only six out of 10 US workers have access to paid sick leave, with those numbers decreasing amount Latinx, Native American, and Alaska Native communities.  Workers should have job-protected sick days to attend to recover from personal illness or attend to matters related to the health of family members.

Y Vote? Taxes and Federal Funding

Our tax system disproportionally impacts the economic livelihood of lower wage-earners who, due to systemic pay inequity are most often women and BIPOCs.  The YWCA also recognizes that taxes play a crucial role in funding programs such as SNAP, WIC, and LIHEAP. As such, it is necessary to examine how changes to this system might further jeopardize the financial stability of marginalized communities.

Do not let the womens suffrage be in vain.  You should consider it your civic duty.  Your vote matters!

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