Empowerment and Economic Advancement
Each year, 76 percent of women and children served by YWCAs have incomes below the federal poverty level or less, the equivalent of about $23,850 a year for a family of four. We work to address the unique needs of those living in poverty and strive for outcomes that increase emotional and economic self-sufficiency. We provide more than 122,000 women with economic empowerment programs annually, and more than 2,200 military veterans and their families with housing, health care, career education, and counseling. YWCA also has an ongoing commitment - truly, a mandate of our mission - to provide leadership development opportunities to women and girls.
YWCA USA supports women's economic empowerment and a work and family agenda. Women comprise more than half of today's workforce. One in 4 women are now the sole or primary breadwinners for their families. An overwhelming majority of mothers with children under 18 years of age are working. Women of color are overrepresented in low-wage industries that lack basic workplace protections. There is no doubt that women are central to the economic well-being for their families and play a critical role in our nation's economic prosperity. Despite this, 21st-century workplace policies are out-of-date and do not adequately support a women's ability to balance work-family demands. All women and their families would benefit from family friendly policies such as paid sick days, an increase in the minimum wage, and fair scheduling practices.