Blog

Women's Fund of Rhode Island

11-10-2015
Jenn Steinfeld Executive Director
At the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, we believe that greater racial and gender equality is good for our families, our community, and our economy. In fact, much of our work lately is focused on improving jobs, pay and working conditions for employees in the service sector, which has a huge impact on women’s economic security. Gender segregation in employment and wage discrimination are pronounced in these jobs; for example, U.S. Department of Labor statistics tell us that 88 percent of maids and
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10-25-2015
Gretchen Bell Womens Policy Institute Class of 16
Participating in direct service work was an integral part of my college experience and as I look back, my professional career has been a consequence of one event in particular. One of the many service opportunities offered at my school, Loyola University, was a program called Care-A-Van. The program encouraged students to visit a homeless encampment in downtown Baltimore once a week bringing much needed food assistance along with the often overlooked benefits of conversation and companionship.
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10-13-2015
Katharine Murphy
Election season is near—time to prepare to hit the polls and participate in the nationwide event the United States has been talking about for decades now. Suffrage in this country, as we are taught from young ages, is more than an individual endeavor solely undertaken by people interested in politics; suffrage is an integral element to democratic principles of government, giving civil society the power to choose who we want making political decisions that frame our lives. However, as we also are
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08-26-2015
Jenn Steinfeld
Women have been able to cast their vote and voice their opinion in elections for nearly a century; it took almost that long to make this right a reality. Activists and reformers fought for women’s suffrage for nearly 100 years, overcoming many pitfalls and disagreements that threatened to destroy the movement. The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was finally ratified on August 26, 1920, enfranchising all American women and recognizing that they, being created equal, should be given a fair say
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08-24-2015
Katharine Murphy
What feels like a long, but really quite short, 95 years ago, women in the United States acquired the right to vote. Following an immeasurable amount of effort put forth by women and men in favor of voting equality, women’s suffrage was scribed into our Constitution on August 26,1920. Critically speaking, voting access was not granted to every citizen simply because women’s suffrage made voting gender-inclusive. Initially the new ruling benefited only upper-class white women. It wasn’t until
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08-11-2015
Gianna Jasinski
Structural and cultural barriers continue to hold women back today. Women have made great strides in the workforce, but inequality persists. A gender gap in access to opportunities and decision-making power between women and men still exists. . Specifically, in Rhode Island, 56% of minimum wage workers are women. 71% of families with children living in poverty are headed by women, 10% are headed by men, and 19% are headed by married couples. This wage gap has a significant impact on all women,
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08-04-2015
Emily Rosello Mercurio
The gendered wage gap has, in recent years, become something of a feminist buzzword. People are talking about it every time they talk about equality; you’ll find the phrase on the first page of every Women’s Studies 101 syllabus, in every internet think piece about “Why I Need Feminism”, and on the lips of every celebrity making safe forays into public activism. I likely do not need to repeat here the statistic that women make $0.78 for every one dollar made by a man. At this point, everybody
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06-26-2015
Jenn Steinfeld
Today's Supreme Court decision is an amazing leap forward in a movement that has been both agonizingly slow and lightning quick. The Women’s Fund has long recognized the very real linkages between misogyny, homophobia and transphobia. Back in 2003, when I helped to found Rhode Island’s Campaign for Marriage Equality, the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island was one of the first groups to stand with us. It took more than a decade, but in 2013 I was proud to be on the steps of the Rhode Island State House
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06-19-2015
Emily Rosello Mercurio
Last week I walked into my job at a local sandwich shop to find all my coworkers gathered in the kitchen, passing around somebody’s phone and talking excitedly amongst themselves. Two of our coworkers had been expecting a baby together, and the child had finally been born that morning. Of course, everybody wanted to see the pictures they had sent. When I finally got hold of the phone, I couldn’t help but smile. The new parents seemed so overjoyed (albeit exhausted) to be holding their son after
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05-08-2015
Farah Faye
Fifty-five years ago, Sirivamo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka became the first woman elected president in the world. It’s a startling fact – one that is younger than my own grandparents. It wasn’t until they were my age that a woman was ever elected president. But even in their seventies, they have never seen a woman elected president in their own country. That is, unless Hillary Clinton surprises us all and wins the 2016 presidential election. It’s hard for me to come to terms with the
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