Voices From the Field – Blueprint for Investing in Women Ages 25-59
The New York Women’s Foundation’s Blueprint for Investing in Women series comprises four reports that explore the position, the strengths, needs, and best strategies for promoting the well-being and progress of NYC women, across the full span of their lifetimes. In line with The Foundation’s core mission, the series particularly focuses on the situations of women whose opportunities for progress are limited by constraints rooted in attitudes about initial economic position, race, ethnicity, immigration status, and sexual orientation or gender identity.
In New York City, women of color and immigrant women, age 25-59 bear the main brunt of responsibility for both raising and providing for their own families; for furnishing the labor force that undergirds the economy; and for leading the projects that sustain their communities. They also face systemic barriers and threats that:
• Mire them in jobs that fail to pay a living wage and offer few viable paths for advancement.
• Put them at uniquely high risk for intimate partner, sexual, bias-based, and state-sanctioned violence.
• Deny them basic tools of health, reproductive health, and well-supported parenthood.
• Keep them under-represented at the tables at which the policies that shape their lives are set.
The report that follows is based on interviews with a cross-section of the leaders, staff, and constituents of a range of organizations—as well as with relevant public, academic, and philanthropic stakeholders. It offers: (1) an overview of the demographics and situations of the women and LGBTQI individuals with whom the organizations principally work; (2) analyses of their main areas of focus—and descriptions of some of their most effective programs; and (3) recommendations for ongoing or new action.
In particular, it highlights the experts’ across-the-board observation that the areas that are most pivotally important for the future economic security, safety, and health of their constituents—and thus most in need of broad-based accelerated investment—are: (1) affordable permanent housing; and (2) affordable, accessible, high-quality, high-paid child care.