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A Year of Big Change.

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If We Want to End Poverty, We must End the #GenderDisadvantage

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We’re Working to Better the Lives of ALL Women Through Research & Policy

Women make up over half of the Illinois population, and fare worse on almost every indicator of well-being than men:

  • Black and Latina women in Illinois experience poverty at rates two to three times higher than white men. 
  • For every dollar earned by white men in Illinois, white women earn 76 cents, black women earn 63 cents, and Latina women earn 50 cents.
  • Two in five female-headed families in Illinois pay over half of their income in rent, compared to one in five male-headed families and 15% of married couple families.

Investing in gender equity would help not only women and gender non-conforming people and their families, but the economy as well. Ending the gender wage gap would reduce working women’s poverty rates by more than half and boost the Illinois economy by over $20 billion.

Read our latest Report on Illinois Poverty today to see our new analysis of gender and poverty in Illinois and learn more and listen to this story from WBEZ to hear from our research director about this report.

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“The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” 

― Jane Addams

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Women's History Month: Looking to the Future

Six Women Working to Build a Better Future for ALL

This women’s history month, we want to reflect on the accomplishments of women in our past who have broken down barriers and fostered opportunity. Women like Ida B. Wells—journalist, educator and NAACP founder—or Lucy Hicks Anderson, one of the earliest fighters for marriage equality in the United States. Women like them have paved the way for equity and opportunity for women, and while we will continue to celebrate our past sheroes, we also want to look forward. We want to look to the future and lift up the women who are working to not only make the world a more equitable and just place for other women, but for ALL.

We want to highlight women who have been working to build a prosperous, safe, and equitable society for all through various ways—activism, research, leadership, and more. They are just some of the many women continuing the work of those who came before them, so that they can better the future for ALL who will come next.

See our blog post to view the list and learn more about these dynamic leaders

Anika

In an assistance program for Illinois’ neediest families, sanctions should be rare and fair.

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Supporting Women & Families by Strengthening TANF

Keeping a Crucial Support Available

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides cash assistance to families with children living in extreme poverty. TANF is a lifeline for women and their families struggling to meet their basic needs. This week, HB3129, which would make TANF sactions rare and fair, passed out of committee during Illinois legislative session and is on its way to the House floor.

We need legislation that support women and their families and this bill strengthens TANF by making key program fixes that will help ensure that fewer Illinois families experience extreme hardship.

Learn more about HB3129 and the policies we are looking to pass in Springfield this legislative session.

Steven

​Our nation is stronger when everyone who wants to work can find a job.

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Creating Access to Jobs & Opportunities for Women & Families

Many jobseekers face personal or structural barriers to employment that can make it challenging to get, keep, and advance in work. Research shows that most individuals who are receiving public assistance through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program—mostly women with children—face at least one barrier to employment and many face multiple barriers. These individuals need robust and effective employment, training, education, and support services in order to truly access pathways to economic opportunity—and this is why coordination between TANF and the public workforce system funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) matters.

We are currently working on behalf of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Office of Family Assistance to prepare an online toolkit for TANF programs and stakeholders focused on supporting states and communities in building stronger collaboration between the TANF and WIOA systems.

Watch your inbox for updates.                                                                   

Click here to access some of our other resources focused on supporting planning and implementation of WIOA.

Click here to access some of our other resources focused on TANF.

In Case You Missed It

Submit Your Organization's Comments to #ProtectSNAP

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed federal rule changes that, by its own estimates, would take away food assistance from more than 750,000 people. This is yet another move that takes away resources from people who have faced systemic racism, underinvestment, and historical inequities. Submit your comments by April 2nd! Tell the administration that SNAP plays a critical role in addressing hunger and food insecurity in our communities.

Submit your comment today


Apply for the Pathways Forward Challenge by April 2

Our National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity have extended the deadline for proposals to be submitted for the Pathways Forward Challenge. This challenge will support up to five communities in advancing systems change ideas that increase employment among people experiencing homelessness. Selected communities will receive financial resources, technical assistance, and connections to peer learning opportunities in order to implement their ideas over a two and a half year project period.

Learn more and submit your proposal



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