International Womens Day, Womens History Month: Addressing Women’s Issues

Push Play to listen to Judy Patrick of The Women’s Foundation of California.

Empower and Educate…the 2012 theme for Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Judy Patrick, the President of the Women’s Foundation of California shares the Foundation’s goal to fund bold community-led solutions, apply a gender analysis to complex issues, and communicate complex issues in a way that inspires the public will to act.

Political and educational systems together are the fulcrum for change for women to improve their own and their family’s economic well-being. The Women’s Foundation works with the women in Sacramento through a year around Women’s Policy Institute to train and support women leaders to change policy. Overall, despite the condition of the State budget, it’s important to make value based decisions to make California the kind of State we want it to be.

Besides working politically, the Foundation connects people across demographics, ethnicity, geographic location and belief systems. They have found that many women are interested in helping philanthropically, so they also help women identify areas in which they can invest and that are rewarding to them as an individual.

In addition to working with individuals, the Foundation provides support to organizations addressing women’s issues by helping them improve their infrastructure and build capacity. Stronger organizations are better at making an impact on the many issues facing women.

Just as women in areas of extreme poverty are the power for change, women domestically are facing the issues of poverty at an increasing rate and are central to changing the living conditions for their families. The impact of the recession and the State budget cuts have directly hit women through the types of jobs lost, which are largely public sector positions held by women.

Poverty has grown for single moms and for older women who must stay employed longer before retiring. Unemployment of single moms is back to what it was in 1996. Plus, men are regaining jobs faster than women. These facts make it imperative for women to have resources and programs on which they can rely to keep their families safe and healthy.

An inspiring example is in San Bernadino County where a woman, upon release from prison and with her husband’s support, developed a re-entry project to support women coming out of prison get back on their feet. Time for Change Foundation has worked with local government and with local business to help these women re-establish their families and move toward successful re-entry.

On March 9, the Women’s Foundation announces a collaboration with Patty DeDominic, the co-founder of the International Women’s Festivals, to raise $1 million dollars for the Women’s Foundation. Kathryn Downing, board chair of The Women’s Foundation of California and former Publisher, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Los Angeles Times, will be there on March 9 along with a number of other notable women in the State of California to unveil the details of the campaign. Following this announcement, a VIP Reception opens the festivities. March 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., speakers, shopping, educational Round Table presentations, entertainment and food celebrate women.

Find a way to express your own passion to help and leave your own legacy. Take a step each day to use your ideas, energy or money to make an impact. Do something to take a step to help another person each day. Tell your friends about Socially Conscious Investing.

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