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Why aren’t there more apprenticeships for women?

By Jessica Zetzman on August 13th, 2013

The following post by Zach McDade was originally posted on Metro Trends, a blog maintained by the Urban Institute, a Women’s Foundation Grantee Partner. We applaud the Urban Institute for looking at issues through a gender lens and encourage other organizations and researchers to do the same!

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New Documentary Takes on Women’s Work & Worth

By Mariah Craven on August 6th, 2013


Twenty Feet from Stardom, the documentary currently playing in DC-area theaters about backup singers, is on its surface a stereotypical Hollywood tale: ingénue steps into the recording studio seeking fame and fortune, but comes up short – in this case, an achingly close 20 feet short.

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Changing GED Could Mean Greater Barriers for Area Women

By Jessica Zetzman on July 30th, 2013

GEDgirl_courtesyColumbusStateCommunityCollegeI’ve had the amazing opportunity to be a volunteer teacher at Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s Grantee Partner, The Academy of Hope, and can speak to the hard work of the learners who step through their doors each day. This innovative organization provides basic education to adult learners. Though most learners have jobs, families and a myriad of other responsibilities that compete for their time, they still make their studies a priority. In spending time with the learners there, I’ve come to see that the value of a GED or high school equivalency diploma goes beyond the increased job opportunities and higher wages associated with obtaining that level of education (though these are extremely important). Their value is also in the confidence gained by the adults who walk across the stage at graduation, in a mother who is more equipped to help her children with their homework, in that member of society who is more prepared for civic engagement and in immeasurably more ways. In January of 2014, however, the GED is undergoing significant changes that will likely make it considerably more difficult to obtain.

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Miss Utah Equal Pay Flub Should Be a Call to Action

By Nicky Goren on June 24th, 2013

miss_utah_questionLast week, the media was buzzing following Miss Utah’s flubbed response at the Miss USA Pageant to a question about pay inequity and women’s rights. The question from judge NeNe Leakes was: “A recent report shows that in 40 percent of American families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. What does it say about society?” Miss Utah (aka Marissa Powell) for all intents and purposes could not answer the question, and under the pressure of the lights and the cameras, vaguely responded with allusions to increased education and job creation. I’ve been fascinated by the coverage of this issue as there appears to be some level of outrage, at least across the media, to the fact that Marissa botched the answer to this question, and of course the commentary about the relative intelligence of beauty pageant contestants has been part of the ribbing. ( I found this media reaction particularly interesting given the fact that, in general, mainstream media does not seem to be aware of or interested in women’s rights issues and reporting on the continued inequality in this country).

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No Joke: The Impact of the Sequester is Devastating Vulnerable Families

By Nicky Goren on June 13th, 2013

Capitol Bldg by Amanda Walker_CCSeems like the word “sequester” has become part of our everyday vernacular here in the DC metro region, so much so that not a day goes by without it coming up in some context. Yet, since its implementation, it feels like the sense of urgency to resolve the impact of the sequester has dissipated. It’s no longer front page news and has become the source of jokes and derision. There was the non-“snowquester” in March; the sparring about what was really behind the cancellations of all White House tours; and the reports about how Congress quickly passed legislation to resolve the impact of the sequester on air travel – just as their week-long recess was beginning (really???). And all the while, critical social services that are helping to meet the needs of our poorest communities are being cut. Programs like Headstart, nutrition assistance, child-care subsidies, and health screenings for low-income women all faced significant cutbacks but without the same sense of outrage or swift action that some of these less consequential outcomes spurred.

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Week of the Young Child: Why We Invest in Early Education

By Mariah Craven on April 16th, 2013


To learn more about Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s investments in early care and education, please click here.

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Equal Pay Day: Gender Wage Gap is a Chasm for Women of Color

By Mariah Craven on April 9th, 2013

As we approached Equal Pay Day (April 9th), a number of bloggers and organizations were asked to write about what they’d do with an additional $11,000. That’s how much more the average woman would earn per year if her pay were equal to a man’s.

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Leaning in isn’t an option for all women

By Shae Harris on April 2nd, 2013

lean inSheryl Sandberg has stirred up quite a bit of controversy with her book “Lean In,” in which she advises women to assert themselves in the workplace and beyond. Sandberg calls women out for creating invisible, self-imposed barriers when considering how far they want to go in their respective careers. She notes, “we hold ourselves back in ways both big and small by lacking self confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in.” With the ongoing dialogue sparked from this book, I can’t help but wonder about the women who have real-life barriers that impede their professional growth.

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Grantee Partner Spotlight: Academy of Hope

By Mariah Craven on March 29th, 2013

In December 2012, Washington Area Women’s Foundation made grants totaling $805,500 to 23 DC-area nonprofits whose work is improving the economic security of low income women and their families. One of those organizations was Academy of Hope, which provides high quality adult basic education that changes lives. Here’s a look at why The Women’s Foundation made a grant to Academy of Hope.

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Women’s History Month Q&A – March 29, 2013

By Shae Harris on March 29th, 2013

Q: Who was the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as U.S. Surgeon General? Hint: she served from 1990 to 1993.

A: Antonia Novello, M.D., served as the 14th U.S. Surgeon General from 1990 to 1993. Her work as Surgeon General focused on the health of women, children and minorities, underage drinking, smoking and AIDS.

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