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The Shriver Report, released earlier this year, has helped draw national attention to the conversation around #WhatWomenNeed. The report has focused particularly on the gender wage gap and the significant economic burden that women bear. It found that closing the gender wage gap would cut the poverty rate in half for working women and their families, and that if women received pay equal to that of their male counterparts, the U.S. economy would produce $447.6 billion in additional income. These are huge benefits, not just for women, but for all Americans – and they start with closing the gender wage gap.
In the deep freeze of winter, it’s hard to think of a coming spring, but April will be here soon with bright sunshine, blooming flowers and… Tax Day! But don’t panic. Filing taxes can be fun — especially if you can get a nice refund from it. Here are five tips to keep in mind for this upcoming tax season.
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Martin Luther King’s birthday reminds me how grateful I am for the fullness of my life – wonderful family and friends, good health, and a rewarding professional career. The holiday also reminds me that others, whether by birth or circumstance, have not been so fortunate and that I have both the time and resources to, in some small way, do something helpful for them.
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This Sunday, more than 100 million pairs of eyes will be on New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, where the Broncos and Seahawks will meet for Super Bowl XLVIII. Just outside the stadium – but a world away from the lights and cameras – some of this country’s most vulnerable women and girls will be forced to work as part of the modern day slave trade. Worldwide, sporting events attract a flood of human traffickers and here in the US, the Super Bowl has been called “the single largest human trafficking incident” in the country.
The release of The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink on January 15—just one week after we marked the 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty—accomplished what so many of us have been working toward: it elevated the conversation about women and poverty to a national level dialogue. #WhatWomenNeed was trending on social media and people were talking. In the room at the national release event, there was a palpable excitement in the air—excitement filled with the promise of opportunity. And just last night, the President of the United States put women front and center in his State of the Union address, calling for action on pay equity, minimum wage, and pregnancy discrimination. Now, it’s what we do with this opportunity that matters.
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Last month, Washington Area Women’s Foundation announced that we’ve made new grants to three organizations that are developing two-generation strategies that will serve middle school girls and their mothers.
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For me – as for many others – January is my “clean slate.” No, it’s not about New Year’s resolutions. For Washington Area Women’s Foundation, it’s a chance to celebrate the over $1 million in grants our board approved in December, and to exhale and plan for the work all of these Grantee Partners will be leading in our community this year.
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As I listened to NPR’s piece this morning on the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, I was struck by the fact that very little has changed. I decided to read President Lyndon B. Johnson’s famous address to Congress. That internet search led me to the March 1964 Special Message to Congress that accompanied President Johnson’s proposed Economic Opportunity Act of 1964—I strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t read it, to take a moment and do so. The message lays out the fundamentals for the creation of what are now today’s safety net programs, programs that are slowly being dismantled.
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It seems that women have been the center of many policy debates this year, both nationally and locally. We’ve been keeping an eye on important legislation affecting women and their families in 2013 and have put together a list of the top bills, policies and legislation of the year, plus a few to keep tabs on in 2014: