Feminism today is about the connectivity among people across a broad range of issues. We must create a collective effort for equity that challenges injustices of all kinds, addresses overlapping forms of discrimination, engages more women, including gender-expansive people, and calls men to join and celebrate the movement.
The Women’s Fund is committed to inclusivity and is working to create the future we all want – now. We believe women must be safe in their homes and in the community, possess economic power, and hold positions of decision-making authority and influence in all spaces. We acknowledge that to do so a woman’s right to control her own destiny requires legal protection and defense of bodily autotomy.
The Women’s Fund fulfills this mission by aggressively funding advocacy through our competitive grant programs. We bring people together in spaces and at events grounded in these principles, defined by positive energy and affirmation, across generations. We make concrete advocacy suggestions to individuals and organizations who engage with the Women’s Fund, and we are unafraid of taking a stance on the issues impacting women and girls.
PERSONAL SAFETY & SEXUAL VIOLENCE
In Wisconsin, the reality of sexual violence is stark: approximately one in three adult women have been affected, with an assault reported nearly every seven hours and 43 minutes. Even more alarming is that in 88.9% of these cases, the assailants are known to the victims. Despite the advancements of the #MeToo movement, many survivors still face significant obstacles in reporting their experiences and seeking justice, often grappling with both psychological and economic impacts.
Our commitment to the personal safety of women is unwavering. We believe in and support victims of sexual violence, advocating for a world free from shame and stigma. Our proactive approach focuses on education and empowerment, to create a safer and more respectful environment for survivors. We challenge societal norms that perpetuate this violence and partner with organizations to provide survivors with essential services. Through these efforts, The Women’s Fund ensures survivors receive the care and justice they rightly deserve.
BODILY AUTONOMY AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHCARE
We stand firmly for women’s autonomy over their bodies and healthcare decisions. Having children is a deeply private choice with significant personal, professional, and economic implications. Such decisions should rest in the hands of the individuals concerned, not dictated by the state. Our commitment is to advocate for and support the rights and health of women and families in this changing legal environment to ensure safe and ready access to abortions, contraceptives, and other forms of women’s healthcare.
voting and candidacy
Championing democracy and women’s pivotal roles within the process, the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee persuasively addresses decreasing voter turnout by increasing women’s voting participation and supporting more female candidates in elections — when more women vote and are elected, it positively shifts public policies on critical issues like healthcare, the economy, and the environment.
The Women’s Fund advocates for equal pay for equal work, asserting that caregiving and traditionally female-dominated professions deserve higher recognition and compensation. We also aim for a future where career choices are not defined by gender — promoting equal opportunities in all fields from STEM to nursing.
The Women’s Fund advocates that no woman should lose income to access healthcare, care for family, bond with a new child, or escape abusive situations. Paid leave stabilizes family finances and benefits businesses through improved employee morale, increased productivity and reduced turnover costs. Therefore, the Women’s Fund challenges private employers to provide paid leave to employees.
RACE IN EDUCATION
The Women’s Fund asserts that education is the cornerstone of lifelong opportunities. We advocate for equitable school funding models that ensure all communities have the resources for excellent education. Locally, we support policies that address and rectify structural factors causing racial disparities in schools. This includes offering equal access to advanced academic programs, developing unbiased discipline codes, and establishing inclusive school cultures.
EMPOWERING YOUNG WOMEN
Current research highlights a concerning trend in the confidence levels of women and girls. Studies, including those by authors Claire Shipman and Katty Kay of “The Confidence Code for Girls” and YPULSE, reveal that while boys and girls exhibit similar confidence levels up to age eight; however, there is a 30% drop in girls’ confidence between the ages of eight and 14. This decline in confidence leads to fear of failure and an overwhelming pressure to be perfect. Moreover, when considering careers in engineering, tween and teen boys are more than three times as likely as girls to see themselves as successful.
The Women’s Fund recognizes the critical importance of confidence, self-empowerment, and self-worth in enabling women and girls to lead the lives they aspire to. We are committed to nurturing these qualities and empowering women and gender-expansive people to take action for their own benefit and the benefit of others.
ACCESS TO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
The Women’s Fund firmly believes that equitable access to early childhood education is essential for the greater Milwaukee community. Greater access would allow women the opportunity to remain in the workplace, progress in their careers, and earn more while supporting child development. The Women’s Fund supports policies that would increase access to low- and middle-income families by making childcare more affordable, opening centers in childcare deserts, and extending hours to nights and weekends.