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YWCA 2022 Advocacy Committee Goals & Priorities

Healthcare: YWCA Northeast Kansas is committed to promoting and supporting efforts to ensure health care access and affordability to women, children, people of color, and survivors of gender-based violence. YWCA supports policies that ensure marginalized people have access to the medical care and insurance coverage they deserve, including Medicaid expansion.  

Policies promoted and supported by YWCA:  

  • Comprehensive Health Coverage: Protect and expand health care coverage for preexisting conditions, birth control, and preventive health services like mammograms and annual check-ups
  • Mental Health Services for Survivors of Trauma: Expand the availability of services to address the mental health impact of stress and trauma on children, young adults, women, and survivors of gender-based violence. YWCA applauds the expansion of Medicaid postpartum coverage for Kansas moms and babies during the 2022 legislative session.
  • Maternal Health Care: Improve maternal health care and eliminate maternal health disparities for women of color
  • Contraception: Protect access to contraception
  • Abortion Rights: Protect individual control of women’s health decisions and access to safe, legal abortion care.

Gender-based violence: Women and girls of all ages, income levels, racial and ethnic communities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and religious affiliations continue to experience violence in the form of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and trafficking.  

As the largest network of domestic and sexual violence service providers in the United States, YWCA works for practical solutions to protect survivors, hold perpetrators accountable, and eradicate all forms of gender-based violence.  

What we support:  

  • Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 
  • Reauthorization of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Reauthorization Act (FVPSA) 
  • Preserve and increase the cap on the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) fund 
  • Common-sense solutions that decrease the threat of domestic violence gun homicide 
  • Job-protected safe leave to enable survivors to seek medical and legal support 
  • Safe, inclusive school environments that are free from sexual violence, are supportive of survivors, and respect and affirm gender identity and expression 

Racial Justice: Structural racism refers to the totality of ways in which societies foster racial discrimination through mutually reinforcing systems of housing, education, employment, earnings, benefits, credit, transportation, media, health care, and criminal justice that in turn reinforce discriminatory beliefs, values, and distribution of resources.  

Advance equity, safety, and racial justice for women and girls of color across justice, education, health, and other systems with documented racial disparities by recognizing racism as a public health crisis in our community. We will continue to work with the Topeka Shawnee County Health Department’s REIAG committee to advance this initiative at the City and County government level.  

Economic security is a key component of women’s empowerment and ability to not just participate in but thrive in our community. YWCA Northeast Kansas supports policies that spur women’s participation in the workforce, including but not limited to policies such as: fair wages, equal access to livable wages and equal pay; safe and inclusive work environments free from discrimination and harassment; paid leave and access to quality, affordable childcare; and opportunities for training and development that contribute to professional advancement.  

We know that when women are economically independent and secure, they and their families—and whole community—succeed.  

Reviewed and adopted by YWCA Advocacy Committee 10/12/2022