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WREN’s Gender Justice* Policy Agenda
Dec 11, 2020
WREN’s policy agenda framework is rooted in the principles of fairness, equity, and inclusiveness, so that all women, girls, and gender expansive** people —of every race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, family status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression – can prosper and thrive. It reflects the importance of policy that serves across their lifespan and regardless of income, identity, or background.
To that end, we will work to center the needs of those who have experienced historical trauma and are most impacted by the issues including: Women and gender expansive people who are Black, Brown, members of Indigenous Nations, immigrants, LGBTQ+, disabled, experiencing houselessness, incarcerated, and living with low incomes in our policy recommendations.
The following framework is organized according to WREN’s issue areas of Leadership and Engagement, Health and Education, Economic Opportunity, and Freedom from Violence.
Leadership and Civic Engagement
WREN is committed to strengthening our democracy and building political power for gender justice.
- Voting is a central principle of a democracy. We must increase access to democracy by eliminating all forms of voter suppression and removing barriers to the franchise.
- For democracy to work, our judicial system must be fair, equitable, and committed to pursuing racial equality and gender justice.
- Building power for gender justice requires that those most impacted by gender injustice are adequately represented and actively supported in their intention to influence decision making, whether that be in the workforce and board representation, policy advocacy, or direct action.
Health and Education
WREN is committed to ensuring comprehensive access to health coverage and equitable care, including abortion services, birth control, healthcare for pregnant people, and gender-affirming care. Everyone, no matter their immigration status, deserves access to health care, when and where they need it, without financial difficulty, discrimination, barriers, or stigma.
- We respect the right of individuals to make the decisions about pregnancy and parenting that are best for them and supports them in those decisions.
- We are committed to ensuring that all communities live in safe, healthy environments with the resources necessary to thrive because health does not begin and end at care and coverage. Good health and the decision of when or how to parent are intrinsically tied to other conditions, including access to safe drinking water, adequate housing, education, safe working conditions, and living free from violence. Health and reproductive justice for all requires an investment in the broader social determinants of health and ensuring a more diverse health professions workforce.
WREN is committed to transforming schools into places where every woman, girl, and gender expansive student feels safe, valued, and included.
- We must work to equitably fund schools based on need and actively recruit, train, and support a more diverse teacher and school leader workforce.
- All students deserve educational materials and information that accurately describes our history, including the history of underrepresented and marginalized people, and that provides comprehensive and accurate information about health and well-being,
including reproductive and mental health.
- We must create clear, well-resourced pathways to address educational disparities for gender expansive people, women, and girls of color, including student loan forgiveness.
- We must develop resources for more effective responses and prevention of gender-based discrimination and violence in schools.
- We must support students who are pregnant and/or parenting.
- We must replace discipline practices that push girls of color out of school with resources to help all students grow socially, emotionally, and academically.
WREN is committed to pursuing economic dignity and justice by providing all women and families with the resources and support necessary to meet basic needs including, but not limited to, sufficient income, an affordable and accessible home, and adequate nutrition.
Our budgets must center the needs of those most impacted by our unjust economic systems. This means investing in fair and affordable housing; increasing the adequacy of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); reforming unemployment insurance and establishing a jobseeker’s allowance so that families who lose a job or hours can meet their basic needs as they search for new work; expanding refundable tax credits (such as the Earned Income and Child Tax Credit); and expanding Supplemental Security Income and Social Security to ensure workers who face disability have income security and seniors can retire in dignity.
Building wealth requires all women to be able to preserve the resources that they have while increasing access to wealth-building assets, services, programs, and financial institutions. We must invest in women-owned businesses
WREN is committed to ensuring that all women and gender expansive people can work with equity, safety, and dignity.
- People need living wages—starting with a higher minimum wage without exclusions for tipped workers, people with disabilities, or anyone else.
- We must guarantee equitable pay through increasing transparency around wages and shifting the burden to employers to prove they are providing equal compensation.
- There must be a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers.
- Achieving gender justice means that there are non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people in employment, housing, credit, education, health care, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and other key areas of life.
WREN is committed to building a robust care work infrastructure that treats paid and unpaid care as a public good, including paid leave for all, child care for all, services and supports for people with disabilities, and aging adults.
- We must advance paid sick and safe days and paid family and medical leave policies for all to ensure everyone can meet their care obligations without risking financial insecurity.
- We must ensure high-quality, affordable child care for all families that meets their diverse needs and preferences and that values and adequately compensates the child care workers doing this essential work.
- We must support dignity and independence for people of all ages and abilities by creating a new, holistic system of long-term care that builds on Medicaid and Medicare to provide sustainable, long-term supports and services that will guarantee the respect, dignity, and recognition that care workers deserve.
Freedom from Violence
WREN is committed to advancing non-carceral, trauma-informed violence interventions and prevention to ensure the safety, agency, and self-determination of women, girls, and gender expansive people.
- We must prevent violence in all of its forms – gun violence, racial violence, gender-based violence, sexual harassment, state-sanctioned violence in the form of police brutality, mass incarceration, and immigrant detention and deportation.
- We must support people who are incarcerated while simultaneously reducing dependency from the carceral system.
- We must ensure that all women, girls, and gender expansive people have access to resources that will enable them to escape, avoid, and heal from violence, including gender-based violence and sexual assault.