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Mobilizing women – Health, pay top priorities

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The Women’s Foundation has established a five-year, $5 million initiative to mobilize California women and girls about issues they identified as most critical to their lives: health and pay.

Beginning in fiscal year 2000-01, the Initiatives Forum will make grants totaling $1 million each year for five years to organizations that will strengthen female advocacy and leadership efforts.

An opinion research project commissioned by the Women’s Foundation found that women and girls in California were most concerned about fair pay and access to health care. 

The Initiatives fund will mobilize two campaigns reflecting those priorities.

The health segment will promote wellness through occupational health and environmental health strategies. The fair compensation campaign will target low-wage, traditionally female sectors of the economy to achieve better pay and benefits.

In addition to providing financial support to grassroots organizations, the Initiatives Forum will also build alliances with those who influence public policy on health and pay issues. 

“It provides both resources and a coordinated strategy to activate the women and girls who typically do not participate in setting the political agenda,” said Patricia Chang, President and chief executive officer of the Women’s Foundation.

The Women’s Foundation is the oldest and largest philanthropic fund for women in the Western United States, with $7 million in grants to more than 550 organizations in the last 21 years. 

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