Advocates Target 2020 to Pass Ambitious Women’s Agenda

January 17. 2020
Delia Coleman

For Immediate Release
Jan 17, 2020

Media Contact
Nazirah Ahmad
[email protected]


Women philanthropists and gender rights group launch new digital home to fight for fair pay & safe workplaces just in time for elections

San Francisco – On the fourth anniversary of the Women’s March galvanizing millions in 2020, Equal Rights Advocates has joined forces with philanthropists and other advocacy leaders to launch the Women’s Agenda Hub, a new digital community offering advocates across the country resources to pass groundbreaking fair pay and sexual harassment laws at the state and federal levels.

Funded in part by the Women Donors Network, a philanthropic group of women committed to democracy and progressive reform, the Women’s Agenda Hub is a dynamic and accessible meeting place for anyone committed to a bold gender justice reforms in this important election year. It features a first-of-its-kind policy resource library with sample legislation, research, and analysis on gender justice laws in certain states. It also boasts an interactive map tracking the progress of fair pay and sexual harassment laws in states across the U.S. It includes strategies for community power building around shared policy values at stake in ballot boxes in 2020.

“These resources of Equal Rights Advocates and the Women’s Agenda Initiative represent a battle plan for #MeToo sexual harassment,” says Hollywood activist and Weinstein Silence Breaker Rosanna Arquette. “They also serve as a reminder to candidates that bread and butter economic issues are women’s issues.”

This is our country. This is our democracy. And these are our rights. — Donna Hall, President & CEO, Women Donors Network

These tools will help advocates unlock significant advantages based on strategies and wins in other states. The Women’s Agenda Hub is an exciting addition to two other 2020 community power building efforts from Equal Rights Advocates and partners last year: a State Policy Rapid Response team (featuring the nation’s top policy advocates providing help for on-the-ground reform efforts) and a newly formed Network of States to Stop Harassment, which connects partners committed to driving legislation to end sexual harassment and violence in schools and workplaces in 20 more states by the end of 2020.

The Women’s Agenda Policy Hub is modeled after Equal Rights Advocates’ collaborative Stronger California Women’s Economic campaign, which has successfully advocated for dozens of new laws advancing workplace rights and economic security for women and families across California. The Women’s Agenda initiative aims to replicate such laws in other states.

The project has in its sights potential reform opportunities in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Georgia, and others.

“When we asked our partners on the ground across the country what they needed to activate communities and policy makers on gender justice in 2020, the blueprint for the Women’s Agenda Initiative wrote itself,” said Noreen Farrell, Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates. “We are ready for this bold movement for our movement and democracy in 2020. The Digital Hub, Rapid Response Team, and State Network flow from a powerful movement of people across genders unified behind an agenda creating safe and equitable workplaces and schools. We are intent on holding electeds accountable to our shared values.”

These resources of Equal Rights Advocates and the Women’s Agenda Initiative represent a battle plan for #MeToo sexual harassment. — Rosanna Arquette, Hollywood activist & Weinstein silence breaker

The project is backed by a network of progressive women philanthropists who believe that the power of community and collaborative action can help reverse the current onslaught on racial and gender rights.

“The Women Donors Network believes women can harness power through their philanthropy to drive justice and change in 2020 and beyond,” said WDN President and CEO Donna Hall. “This is our country. This is our democracy. And these are our rights. We thank Equal Rights Advocates and its partners for this inspiring effort to reclaim all three.”

Initial partners leading state-level reforms include 9to5; Labor Council for Latin American Advancement; Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable; South Carolina WREN; and the Women’s Law Project. Representing a broad powerful network of advocates, these groups hope to connect and build off of each others’ policy wins in 2020.


Ashley Lidow from the Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network in Columbia, SC, said, “WREN is excited to be a part of the Hub because we know we can only achieve change with the help of partners.  Partnership and collaboration are at the core of our work, we saw this in our victory with the SC Pregnancy Accommodations Act.  Partnerships with national organizations, across state lines, and within our state gave us the tools to be the first in the South to pass this legislation.”

Cassandra Welchlin from the Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable in Jackson, MS, said “For far too long Mississippi women, especially black women were being shortchanged and not part of the policy-making agenda.  That changed in 2015 when we launched the first MS Women’s Economic Security Initiative in the South that is rooted at the intersection of race, gender and economic justice.  Being part of this hub gives us a unique opportunity to strengthen our advocacy,  grow our base and build power to change the economic outcome for women, and their families.

Amal Bass from the Women’s Law Project in Philadelphia, PA said, “I’m so excited about the launch of the digital hub! It’s wonderful to be connected to other state leaders through this cohort, allowing us to benefit from each other’s expertise. The hub will be a gold mine of ideas, research, and lessons from other states that will help us improve the laws where we live and work.”


About Equal Rights Advocates: Equal Rights Advocates is a national civil rights organization dedicated to protecting and expanding economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls since 1974.


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