I have been at the helm of the Women’s Fund SouthCoast for over six months now and I cannot be more enthusiastic about our future. Last month we returned home from the international Feminist Funded conference in Washington, D.C. with renewed energy about our global action to move the needle on gender and racial justice. Not even a month later, my heart shattered for our global community when the news broke out about the mass violence in Israel and Gaza. When war is waged, it is often women, girls and gender expansive people that are most impacted due to pre-existing inequalities. We condemn violence against women at home, abroad and everywhere it exists. We also stand with those on the SouthCoast and elsewhere who may have lost loved ones or have otherwise been affected.
There is so much work we can do at home to address global crises. Migrant families, including pregnant people and children, are housed in hotels across the SouthCoast and in need of support. Young women and other menstruators still lack access to period products in schools. Our region is an abortion desert and in some cases, a maternity care desert too. Despite the challenges we face, we can and should celebrate our progress.
We are proud of our Board Present, Carmen Amaral and Special Projects Intern, Keyanna Jones for being recognized as YWCA of Southeastern MA Women of Distinction. They join at least five other Women’s Fund Board members and volunteers who received the prestigious award. We also convened over 40 women and allies for our Progress in Play networking event and have been shedding light on gender justice issues on television, in print and on social media.
After decades of work advocating for pay equity, the state is about to sign into law the Francis Perkins Workplace Equity Act which will require organizations of more than 25 employees to list salary ranges and more. The State Senate also just passed the landmark I AM bill providing free menstrual products in public schools, prisons and shelters. I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all who have been involved. I look forward to the day we can celebrate these bills becoming law.