YWCA Houston

Advocacy Policy & Process

FAIR PAY

Women are paid less than men, with women of color seeing an even larger gap, particularly in the state of Texas. Women at all education levels and across all occupations experience a wage gap.

  • We urge congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to improve and strengthen the Equal Pay Act.
  • Empower women to negotiate for higher pay during their careers and for access to affordable higher education. 
  • Get a commitment from local business leaders to pay women fairly.

 

 

LIFTING WOMEN AND FAMILIES OUT OF POVERTY

Southeast Houston has a median poverty rate below $25,000 and faces unique needs that other areas of the city do not. A combination of community programs and systematic change is necessary to move people out of poverty and into a life where they can thrive.

  • Housing is a basic human right and no one should have trouble accessing it. We support and advocate for permanent solutions to end homelessness.
  • Increasing lifespans mean our seniors need more support than ever. We believe in support both the physical and mental needs of this vulnerable population.
  • We advocate to raise the minimum wage, which would affect women in low paying jobs,
  • We support paid sick days, and encourage local business owners to commit to offering paid sick days for their employees
  • We support access to healthy food for all, and encourage the City of Houston to address the issue of food deserts.
  • Child care costs are a significant portion of a family’s budget and are a particularly hard burden on low income families. We call on our political leaders to create policies that make child care more affordable.

WOMEN’S HEALTH

22% of women in Texas are uninsured, significantly higher than the national average. Texas has the worst maternal mortality rate in the country, which disproportionately affects black women, and has made drastic cuts to funding for women’s health care services across the state.

  • Urge the state of Texas to expand Medicaid funding.
  • Nutrition is a cornerstone to good health, and access to fresh, healthy foods like fruits and vegetables can be difficult to obtain while working within a small budget. We support access to healthy food for all
  • Greater access to mental health services and drug-related facilities, and we advocate for more diversion and employment programs.
  • Paid maternity leave and comprehensive reproductive health access.
  • The rate of infant mortality in 77021 is 75% higher than that of the rest of Harris County. We ask that the city and county consider additional funding and programs to address this disparity. 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

We acknowledge victims of human trafficking both domestic and foreign, advocate abolishing the practice, and encouraging community and public servants to become more knowledgeable on the topic to better assist victims.

  • Change the culture that regards women as objects and sex as a commodity that can be bought and sold to men.
  • We support the City of Houston’s efforts to institutionalize response efforts to human trafficking through policy and advocacy and raising awareness to change public perception. 
  • Encourage extensive training to recognize and support victims for police, fire and health departments. 
  • We acknowledge that immigration plays a part in human trafficking, as women fleeing violence or otherwise looking to enter the United States often get victimized in this manner and that addressing immigration and asylum laws can help prevent human trafficking.