Empowering Women Advocacy

A- A A+

Ensuring Reproductive Justice & Pay Equity For All

Historically and today, women face discrimination in every sector. From the persistent wealth gap to the state and national threat to reproductive healthcare, women and nonbinary people experience exploitation as a class. We support policy measures to defend this class from further exploitation, and policy measures to support their success.

Pay Equity

Supporting women across industries means eliminating barriers to equal pay, financial and wealth equity, and promoting the economic success of women. One in four women in Central Ohio are economically insecure. This year, Equal Pay Day – or how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year – is March 15, 2023. The average woman makes 83 cents to every dollar that a man makes. However, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make 75 cents to a man’s dollar, followed by Black women (58 cents), Latina women (54 cents), and Native women (51 cents). Additionally, working mothers are paid 58 cents for every dollar paid to working fathers, and transgender women earn approximately 60 cents for every dollar earned by cisgender workers. Equipping women to be financially independent is an integral part of empowering women to live their safest, most authentic lives.

Reproductive Justice

The right to reproductive healthcare, including abortion, is a fundamental human right, and YWCA Columbus supports the full reproductive justice framework coined by Black women in 1994. True “choice” means ensuring people have low barriers to safe care and the financial security to choose what’s best for themselves and their families – having a baby or not, breastfeeding freely, accessing paid family leave, and affording high-quality childcare. And while the right to choose is a fundamental human one, we also note that it is an economic one. Wages significantly increase for women when they have the ability to control when they start a family—and, Black women, in particular, see a 10 percent increase in earnings. Abortion is an economic and racial issue, and we support all women, femmes, and non-men who are marginalized by gender-based discrimination and oppression. We support policy and practice changes that empower this class of people, with an emphasis on building a liberated future where all misogyny-affected people experience liberation from patriarchal systems of oppression.

More to consider:

  • The hourly wage needed to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in Franklin County is $19.08/hour. At Ohio’s minimum wage, a wage earner must work 88 hours per week, every week of the year to afford an apartment at fair market rent. In high-cost Central Ohio zip codes, the hourly “housing wage” is even higher, often topping $20/hour. (Out of Reach: the High Cost of Housing, 2020.)
  • The living wage in Franklin County for one adult with 0 children is $16.32. However, currently, the minimum wage of $10.10 in Ohio does not meet the needs of residents of Central Ohio.

2023-2024 Advocacy Agenda

Social Justice/Eliminating Racism

• Honesty in Ohio’s K-12 curriculum
• Equitable public safety
• Justice and equity for LGBTQ+ community


Empowering Women

• Ensuring living wage for all
• Protecting reproductive healthcare


Housing Justice

• Improving access to shelter programming, renting, and homeownership


Youth Development

• Children are kindergarten-ready
• Access to high-quality before-and-after school programs
• Family representation in policies