The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the unequal treatment of women, particularly Women of Color. We know when Women of Color are healthy, safe, and financially secure, they lift their families and entire communities. But for far too long Women of Color have been kept at a disadvantage in an inequitable system.
SHEcovery™ is a roadmap to create an equitable system that supports Women of Color. Below are the four priorities SHEcovery™ will focus on:
• Get Women Back to Work
• Address the Eviction Crisis
• Care for Our Caregivers
• Demand an Antiracist Healthcare System
Join us. Make a gift in support of SHEcovery™ today.
CFW commits to raising $11 million to invest toward a sustained, transformative SHEcovery™ fund over the next two years. We can resolve community problems that affect women and girls with proper funding and targeted strategies. Systems don’t change overnight. SHEcovery™ will power movements for intersectional gender equity – today, tomorrow, until we are equal.
Chicago Foundation for Women will mobilize people from across the region, from all walks of life, to support the SHEcovery™ priorities. Over the next two years, we will raise $11 million to invest in four key strategies designed to create conditions for a full SHEcovery™.
Women continue to be hardest hit by the pandemic. In December 2020, the US economy lost 156,000 jobs. Women held 90% of those jobs. Job creation is only one part of the recovery puzzle.
How SHEcovery™ will Get Women Back to Work across Chicago:
• Implement the American Rescue Plan
• Make quality childcare accessible
• Provide education and training in high-demand or emerging sectors
• Create reskilling programs with flexible hours for single mothers
• Increase Federal Minimum Wage to $15.00 per hour
• Provide Paid Sick and Family Medical Leave for all Illinoisans
Prior to COVID-19, Chicago’s low-income renters and households of color were already experiencing high levels of housing insecurity. At some point, the federal eviction moratorium will be lifted and approximately 21,000 households in Chicago could be evicted from their rental homes. In addition, recent reports show an increase in the use of credit cards to pay rent, adding to debt for already struggling families.
Chicago-area women and their families will not even start on the pathway to a sustainable SHEcovery™ without housing stability.
How SHEcovery™ will Address the Eviction Crisis across Chicago:
• Increase Rental Assistance
• Extend the Federal Eviction Moratorium
• Seal COVID-19 Related Evictions
• Protect and Expand Affordable Housing
Even before the pandemic, our society was held together by caregivers. Often Women of Color, often underpaid or unpaid, our caregivers are on the frontlines for our families and in the fight against COVID-19. Quality care programs affordable for working families and help the economy require large-scale public investment in a national care infrastructure.
How SHEcovery™ will Care for our Caregivers across Chicago
• Improve Medicare and Medicaid
• Help pass legislation ensuring families can access safe, affordable, high quality, and convenient child care.
• Make care available during non-standard hours (such as weekends, after school, nights, when job schedules change)
• Eliminate child care deserts
• Invest in new and innovative care models, and labor and workers’ rights organizations
• Pass policies to ensure care jobs are good jobs
A gender-equitable recovery will prioritize policies that protect women’s health, bodily autonomy, and freedom by ensuring that they are healthy and have access to affordable and quality healthcare.
How SHEcovery™ will Demand an Antiracist Healthcare System in Chicago:
• Dismantle racist systems preventing Chicago’s Black and Brown communities from accessing the COVID vaccine
• Lift the FDA’s in-person dispensing requirement for patients seeking medical abortions
• Pass Parental Notice of Abortion (PNA) Act in Illinois
• Ensure health plans have robust coverage for contraceptives, pregnancy management, and abortion
• Fully implement the Reproductive Health Act (H.B. 40)
• Expand access to quality mental health and substance abuse support codify the tenets of Roe V. Wade at the federal level and fully fund Title X
Despite an intense political climate, Chicago Foundation for Women and our partners have been able to drive progressive change. Chicago Foundation for Women has played a key role in the passage of 55 pieces of pro-women-and-girls legislation over the past four years.
• This has included the Equal Rights Amendment in Illinois, the No Salary History law that strengthens the Illinois Equal Pay Act, the Illinois Reproductive Health Act, and a statewide sexual harassment law.
As a result, Illinois is increasingly becoming a bastion for women’s rights in a nationally polarizing and oppressive sociopolitical context.
• CFW provided 30 organizations with free clinics on how to apply and obtain Payroll Protection Program (PPP) funding made available through the CARES Act, and provided the opportunity for personalized coaching and consultation.
• CFW shifted all of its leadership development and capacity-building programming to a virtual learning format, breaking down isolation and providing valuable connections for over 130 diverse women from across the Chicago region.
• Through the Englewood Women’s Initiative (EWI), CFW and our partners served over 50 women and their families, helping them to gain employment, complete vocational programs, access emergency cash assistance, and receive additional social services to meet their most urgent needs.
• While we sheltered in place and adhered to social distancing guidelines in 2020, CFW hosted 8 virtual events, including events focused on how to build a more trans-inclusive gender equity movement, a voter education and mobilization event leading up to the November election, one celebrating the power of collective giving spotlighting giving councils and circles, and a Girls Summit focused on the needs and hopes of Chicago-area young womxn* and girls.
• And, our team also had the pleasure of participating in 10 community engagement events and webinars with various partners, including a celebration of the suffrage movement which also highlighted the work that remains, and joined foundation leaders from across the country to talk about their approaches to planning and how each organization has adapted to respond to the challenges faced today.
"After too many years living day by day, I am excited for the future.
Thanks to Chicago Foundation for Women, the trades are no longer a boy’s club.”
– Lupe Hinojosa
For CFW uses womxn as an alternative spelling of women, which is inclusive of women, girls, trans, and gender non-binary individuals.
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Chicago Foundation for Women is a leading convener of women in Chicago. Check out our upcoming events below. All of our events, including those hosted by our Giving Councils, are open to the public unless otherwise specified.
To read about meetings and events we've held, visit our entire Events Schedule. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.