The WOMEN AND GIRLS FOUNDATION (WGF) is a non-profit organization based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania engaged in statewide programming and policy work. The mission of WGF is to achieve equality for women and girls, now and for generations to come. In pursuit of this mission, WGF breaks down barriers so that every girl can rise and every woman can soar. Our vision is for women and girls in Pennsylvania to have equal access, opportunity, and influence in all aspects of their public and private lives.
I hope that you and your family are safe and well, navigating the many challenges facing our community. At WGF, we are committed to remaining a strong and vocal voice for women at this time of great need, while also ensuring that our team and program participants remain safe. Staff are working from home and being offered paid time off to take care of those who are ill or children who are home due to school closures. Teens from over fifty schools are participating in weekly GirlGov meetings via Zoom. Not even a global pandemic can dampen the spirits and strong sisterhood of our participants.
Since, we normally provide dinner throughout the month to the 100+ GirlGovers at their regular in-person meetings, we are providing GrubHub certificates to those whose families could use some support at this time, while also donating remaining funds from our meals budget to Pittsburgh Mutual Aid and the Pgh Restaurant Workers Emergency Fund.
School closures, virus diagnosis, or the need to take care of a parent in respiratory distress should never result in a family bankruptcy, the loss of a business, a job, or homelessness. Through our Family Care Campaign, we continue to advocate for the long-term policy changes needed to ensure that the next time a health crisis occurs - in a community or in a family - main street and family owned businesses do not need to shut down and employees do not need to be laid off.
We are grateful that with your advocacy efforts, and in partnership with coalition partners at the local, state, and national levels, that we have been able to secure some paid leave to be written into emergency legislation that will help some workers - but these are short-term fixes that will help only a few of the millions who need support. Our goal continues to be a long-term solution that will support all Pennsylvania working families. A solution like the PA Family Care Act.
Thank you for being partners with us in supporting this critical work. All of us at WGF wish you and everyone in your family, continued health and wellness.
Warm regards, Heather Arnet, CEO, Women and Girls Foundation
In spite of school closures, GirlGov continues to meet weekly via Zoom. The girls have reported that this time together is very therapeutic and special. We are so grateful, especially to Beth Sondel and her team, Miracle Jones and Imani Chisom, who have continued to keep spirits up at GirlGov Zoom meetings with positive offerings of hope and love and Lizzo dance parties.
At WGF and the Family Care Campaign, we are working tirelessly to advocate for the long-term policy changes needed to ensure that the next time a health crisis occurs - in a family or in a community - caregivers don’t have to choose between their jobs and their health.
We are grateful that in partnership with our national, state, and local coalition partners, we have been able to ensure that some paid sick days and paid family leave benefits to be written into emergency legislation and policy measures. But these are also short-term fixes that will help some. Our goal continues to be a long-term solution that will support all working families in Pennsylvania.
Family Care Act Campaign, chaired by Women and Girls Foundation and PathWays PA, is leading the charge to make Paid Family and Medical Leave available and accessible to all Pennsylvanians and all employers.
GirlGov, created by teen women for teen women, is designed to provide local girls with the opportunity to learn, first hand, about civics, government, philanthropy, community involvement, women’s history, and leadership.
Femisphere is challenging Pittsburgh to become a place where women and girls thrive by working with partners in community services, philanthropy, and government to ensure women are put at the center of local economic development and poverty reduction efforts.
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this month in the movement
This article was originally published by The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. You can find the article here. Samidha Sane, 19, was volunteering at a soup kitchen a few years ago when she spoke to a woman who told her she had to use paper bags when she didn’t have a menstrual pad or tampon. And when…
Moiya McTier has spent a lot of her life thinking like a scientist – she’s currently an Astronomy PhD student at Columbia, was the first person to study both Astronomy and Folklore & Mythology at Harvard, and says that her mom was grooming her to be a scientist from day one – and she wants…
Local leaders answer the call to help break down barriers now, and for generations to come Pittsburgh, PA (March 15, 2018) – In a January 2018, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Op-Ed, Women and Girls Foundation (WGF) Board Co-Chairs Janis Burley-Wilson and Len Caric, called for men to be leaders in the movement to bring about cultural change and play a role in achieving…
It was the first place I ever felt that I did not have to hide any part of myself.
We seek equity for all women without regard to economic status, class, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, disability, or genetics.
Our programs, initiatives, and grantmaking seek to drive systemic solutions to the problem of gender inequity.
Empowering girls is central to our mission. We engage young women as activists, donors, and leaders.
Engaging men as allies, partners, and champions for gender equity is vital for our mission’s success.