Women need to be intentionally and actively involved in the decision-making process that takes place at the State Capitol. We’ve made some progress, but only 25% of our State Legislators are women today. Women should have a voice at every decision-making table in our state. Having knowledge about how decisions are made is the first step in that direction. On March 29-30, 2017, the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida led a delegation of local women to Tallahassee to participate in the Women’s Day at the State Capitol convened by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. The goal was to gain a deeper understanding of the legislative process and meet with elected officials to voice the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida’s efforts to stop human trafficking, close the gender wage gap, and increase access to healthcare services.
During the two-day event members from the Women’s Foundation Board of Directors met by appointment with Senator Kathleen Passidomo and State Representatives Heather Fitzenhagen and Dane Eagle.
During the meetings, we briefed our elected officials on our Status of Women in Florida by County: Poverty & Opportunity report and asked them to consider our recommendations as the deliberate policy on issues of vital importance to women such as:
- Paid family leave
- Living wage
- Wage gap
- Accessible assistance programs
- Investments in education and training
- Supporting entrepreneurship
- Access to health care services
Removing barriers and broadening access to essential services for women and girls is a critical step to achieving our mission of boosting the economic clout of local women. Getting involved in the legislative process not only facilitates those efforts, but it empowers women to take an active role in the decision-making of the laws that could affect them, their families and their communities.
Are you interested in learning more about the legislative process? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet @WomensFundFL and https://www.facebook.com/womensfundfl