Arizona earns C- in women’s pay, employment*

Women in Arizona face enormous challenges. Nearly 50% are unemployed and, of those who are working, more than 60% are in low wage jobs. Based on research from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington, DC, that earns Arizona a lukewarm C-. Several states, all in the South, earned an F. So, while things could be much worse, in Arizona we’re #notthere yet.

According to the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, 500,000 Arizona women live in poverty. Based on their research, a pathway out of poverty for women requires:

  • Child care subsidies and early childhood education for the children;
  • Temporary Aid to Needy Families while women get the help they need to find work;
  • Access to affordable adult education and community colleges, so they can qualify for work with self-sufficient wages.

This year our State leaders passed a budget that slashed or eliminated funding for each one of these critical programs.

Here at your YW, we are taking action to help women in Southern Arizona. Through our new Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity (WCEO) we are expanding our programming to help women across the economic spectrum get the training and support they need to succeed. But we also need to make our voices heard. We need both Action and Advocacy.

Call the Governor & your elected State officials – or better yet go see them while they’re on break from the legislature. Tell them Arizona can’t afford to balance the budget on the backs of women and children.

Arizona has its priorities wrong. Let’s change that, together. #noceilings #notthere

*An article with this headline appeared in the Arizona Republic, March 23, 2015.

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