Often during U.S. elections, I think about my grandmother. She served as a poll worker for several years and encouraged her loved ones to vote. Now I am struck by the fact that my daughter will likely grow up fighting to regain rights that seemed settled in my grandmother’s lifetime.
This November, some winning candidates promised to preserve and advance the rights of women and other marginalized genders, yet others are set on reversing our progress. That’s why the work of women’s funds is more critical than ever. In many places, we’re an integral part of a collaborative force working to improve the economic security of women, girls, and nonbinary people, as well as to ensure bodily autonomy, prevent gender-based violence, and protect access to healthcare, including abortions.
Now is the time for women’s funds to work with state and local lawmakers on policies that prioritize gender and racial equity through all these areas. Reproductive justice offers a helpful framework we can use to move forward in this moment: connecting abortion access, birth justice, climate and economic justice, and many forms of bodily autonomy, including freedom from state violence.
I remain inspired by your work. For instance, Women’s Fund of Rhode Island is hosting a giving circle to support reproductive health and justice in the state. Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona advocated for expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage from 60 days to a year to improve maternal health outcomes. Women’s Foundation California played a critical role in the campaign to pass the College Right to Access Act, which will require all public California universities to provide medication abortion. These are a few among so many fighting for change.
Let’s work harder than ever before to help our communities create policies that support women, girls, and nonbinary folks. Let us build a future where everyone can thrive.
Women’s Funding Network
Senior Manager of Policy and Programs