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Naples United Church of Christ Awards Grant to Benefit Women and Girls in Southwest Florida

Naples United Church of Christ Awards Grant to Benefit Women and Girls in Southwest Florida

ElevateHer SWFL Inaugural Event

Did you know? Research on women’s economic, political, and social status in the United States, rated Florida D+ when assessing the status of women. If progress continues at the rate of change since 1975, Florida, along with other Southern states, won’t achieve gender parity until at least 2066. Therefore, it is imperative to invest in causes that advocate for the leadership and development of local women and girls.

Naples United Church of Christ has partnered with the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida to Elevate Her SWFL with a $5,000 grant award. The grant is matched by individual donors and corporate underwriters.  A $10,000 grant to Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida and a $10,000 grant to the PACE Center of Lee and Collier County were awarded at a January 27, 2015 event to launch the Women’s Foundation Initiative Elevate Her SWFL, formerly known SparkSWFL. Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida will apply the funds to signature programs such as Baby Think It Over, which helps teenagers understand the full-time commitment of parenting. Pace Centers for Girls in Lee and Collier in Immokalee will invest in programs to offer a healthy healing environment to their clients. For more information, the agency websites are listed below:

http://gsgcf.org/

http://www.pacecenter.org/locations/lee

http://www.pacecenter.org/locations/collier-at-immokalee

In addition, the NUCC grant will be leveraged and matched in the form of PopUp grants to other nonprofits serving women and girls in Southwest Florida.

The Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida Is the only non-profit in Southwest Florida focused exclusively on women and girls and was the first to publish academic research assessing the status of women in the area. Signature programs include #StopSellingOurKids, Kiva Zip Micro-Loan Program, and PopUps. The Women’s Foundation welcomes financial contributions to support key initiatives. Follow the Women’s Foundation online at https://fundwomenfl.orghttp://facebook.com/womensfundfl and on http://twitter.com/womensfundfl. To learn more about the Status of Women visit https://fundwomenfl.org/research/

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What is The Status of Women in the Southern United States?

What is The Status of Women in the Southern United States?

How are women fairing in the South vs the rest of the country?
A first of its kind report highlights the differences between women in the Southern region of the US and the rest of the country.

Sadly, Florida received a D+ overall and ranked #5 in the South States.

With the exception of the District of Columbia, which received a B on women’s overall status, no state in the South was graded higher than a C- overall.

(For purposes of the report, the South is defined as Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia , and the District of Columbia.)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research presents a new analysis report of the Status of Women in the South.
This is the first report  to provide a comprehensive portrait of the status of women, particularly the status of women of color, in the southern states, grading each state on six different topic areas related to women’s economic, political, health, and social status. With the exception of the District of Columbia, which received a B on women’s overall status, no state in the South was graded higher than a C- overall. The report also features spotlights on special population groups in the South, including Millennial women, older women, immigrant women, rural women, LGBT women, and women with disabilities. The report is available in full and by topic area at http://statusofwomendata.org/south/.

A Few of the Key Findings from the Report:

  • Women in the South are significantly underrepresented relative to their share of the population at all levels of government. For example, women from southern states hold just 12.2 percent of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 18.4 percent of seats in southern state legislatures. Only 4.8 percent of U.S. Representatives of southern states are women of color, yet the percent of southern state legislators who are women of color (6.7 percent) is higher than the national average.
  • If progress continues at the rate of change since 1975, Arkansas and Georgia will be the first Southern states to have gender parity in their state legislature (both in 2066). Two Southern states— South Carolina and West Virginia—will have to wait over 200 years for parity
  • If all working women in the South aged 18 and older were paid the same as comparable men— men of the same age, level of education, and urban/rural residence, and who work the same number of hours—women’s average earnings in this region would increase from $35,788 to $42,180 ($6,392 or 17.9 percent) annually. Added up across all working women in the South, this would amount to an earnings increase of $155.4 billion, or 2.8 percent of the southern states’  combined gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014.

Read the full report and key findings at http://statusofwomendata.org/south/.

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D+ to A for Florida Women

D+ TO A FOR FLORIDA WOMEN

In 2015, Florida received a D+ on a Status of Women survey by The Women’s Policy Research Center, the survey analyzed economics, safety, health, and leadership of local women. Learn more about it HERE.
As a response to this concerning score, The Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida is working with the Florida Women’s Funding Alliance (FWFA) to commission a groundbreaking study of women in Florida by county and to develop actionable policy recommendations to shift from a D+ to an A for Florida women.

The study will look at 4 key areas:

  1. Population and diversity
  2. Poverty and opportunity
  3. Health and well-being
  4. Employment and earnings

The goals of the Status of Women in Florida by County project are:

  • To analyze and disseminate information about women’s progress in achieving rights and opportunities
  • To identify and measure the remaining barriers to equality
  • To provide baseline measures for monitoring women’s progress.

Our President, Brenda Tate is very excited about this project “In addition to the state-wide impact of this project, every foundation with local or regional focus will have access to accurate facts on the status of women in Florida. In Southwest Florida we will have current county data on women for Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades Counties as the reports are released. The reports will inform our investments in women and girls of Southwest Florida.”

The data presented in Status of Women in Florida by County will serve as a resource for advocates, policymakers, and other stakeholders who seek to develop community investments, programs and public policies that can lead to positive changes for women and their families. The first report in the series will be released in fall 2016.

Current FWFA members include:

Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida
Community Foundation for Northeast Florida’s Women’s Giving Alliance
Lovelight Foundation
Community Foundation for Ocala Marion County
Joseph H. and Florence A. Roblee Foundation
Community Foundation of Collier County’s Women’s Initiative Network
Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches
Community Foundation of Tampa Bay
Women’s Foundation of Palm Beach County
Community Foundation of South Lake County
Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade

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Human trafficking posters in strip clubs and massage parlors?

Human trafficking posters in strip clubs and massage parlors?

Human trafficking signs will save lives. It’s January 1, 2016. Is your county government enforcing human trafficking signs in strip clubs and massage parlors?   Here’s why this is so important:

  • Florida has a serious problem of  human trafficking, especially sex trafficking.  Strip clubs and massage parlors are know venues for sex trafficking. The victims in these establishments have little access to help on the outside. They need to have access to the hotline number to get help.
  • The new Florida law will be most effective when evert county in Florida requires the posting of human trafficking signs. Victims are frequently moved from one location in the state to another. Whether you are ‘dancing” in Jacksonville or Sarasota you should have access to the national hotline number. Every county in Florida has a problem with human trafficking.  Every county needs the notice to be posted.
  • Revenue-generating. Counties can impose fines ($500) for not posted signs. This type of ordinance is a “win-win” for the county.  It can reduce sex trafficking and generate revenue (which could be spent on victims’ services).
  • Code enforcers (including the sheriff) welcome the rationale to enter into these establishments  to check on the existence of the human trafficking sign. It gives them another reason to check whether trafficking or under-age dancing, etc. are going on in the establishment.
Stop Sex Trafficking

 Kudos to Collier County Board of Commissioners for adopting the sign ordinance – September 2015.  

Other counties in Southwest Florida are falling behind.  Today, they cannot enforce the life saving signs in strip clubs and massage parlors. Reach out to your county commissioner TODAY and let them know you would like action.  The  model sign based on Florida law is above.  The Human Trafficking Sign Ordinance Template is below. Please share with your commissioner.

Lee County Board of Commissioners
Currently studying the issue.
Charlotte County Board of Commissioners
Current status unknown.
Hendry County Board of Commissions
Current status unknown.
Glades County Board of Commissioners
Current status unknown.

Human Trafficking Signs Ordinance Template

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Philanthropy Redefined- Learn What the Women’s Foundation is Doing to Spark Change in Southwest Florida

Philanthropy Redefined- Learn What the Women’s Foundation is Doing to Spark Change in Southwest Florida

2016 is the year to change the way philanthropy is done in Southwest Florida. Here at the Women’s Foundation we believe the community should have a voice in determining how funds raised are allocated to organizations serving women and girls; this is the reason we created Spark SWFL.

What is Spark?

  • SparkSWFL provides a platform for professionals to develop philanthropic leadership skills and make grants to nonprofits serving women and girls.
  • SparkSWFL leaders will research, identify, and select SparkSWFL grant partners to ensure funds raised are allocated to causes that are important to the community.
  • SparkSWFL provides opportunities to learn about issues impacting women and to discover our capacity to change outcomes for women in our local community.

Are you interested in helping your community, networking and developing leadership skills?

Attend our inaugural event to see how you can reignite philanthropy and help women in need. To become a founder and learn about sponsorship or underwriter opportunities visit SparkSWFL.org. Connect with us in Facebook or via email contact@FundWomenFL.org.

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