This International Women’s Day, we at United Way are celebrating the heroic sacrifices of the brave women before us – women who spent their lives paving a path towards gender parity.
Over the last century, we’ve seen women become elected officials, sports icons and astronauts. Women now have a higher college admission rate than men and more women go to the polls to vote than ever before.
Yet, on this day of recognition, we’re also reminded of the work that remains. The challenges for American women are still substantial. For example, 200,000 single moms live on an income less than $40,000, 85% of domestic abuse victims are women and 2 out of 3 of illiterate people are women. And that’s just in the United States.
A local approach to a worldwide challenge
At United Way of Metro Chicago, we take this global issue and address it locally. We’re focused on advancing the common good and providing the basic needs and opportunities that all people deserve, including all women.
In West Chicago, many working mothers have trouble accessing the products needed to meet their family’s basic needs. In partnership with the local school district and WeGo Together for Kids, the lead agency in the West Chicago Neighborhood Network, United Way helped to address this issue through a series of Family Wellness Nights. Each event offered free medical, dental and vision screenings, free water filters, health and utility savings education sessions and $5.00 car seats.
Additionally, throughout Chicago, approximately 50% of all women who are homeless report that domestic violence was the immediate cause of their homelessness. To support these women, we partner with women’s shelters that provide a safe haven, as well as the support and services necessary for victims of domestic violence to experience recovery and healing.
As you can see, the challenges that women in our region face are far-reaching and deeply felt. However, the largest and most complex challenges can always be solved through the power of a community working together towards a common goal. When you give to United Way your gift helps ensure that every person in every neighborhood has the tools they need to thrive. Will you join our fight?