In our region, 74% of single-female heads of households earn below a livable wage, compared to 31% of married households and 46% of male heads of households. The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is dedicated to improving these statistics for women and their families. Addressing the systems and policies that lead to women being overrepresented in poverty is a crucial part of this change. 

The WRC aims to ensure that our clients’ voices are represented in the legislative process by engaging directly in advocacy and empowering women to use their voices to spread awareness and participate in elections. We strive to help women increase their civic engagement by voting and educating themselves on how to represent their values and choices in the political arena. It is crucial for women to elevate their voices to champion causes that matter most to them and their families.

Engaging women in the civic process is one of the key goals of WRC’s new Elevating Women’s Voices campaign. In the current politicized environment, we want to help eliminate any shame, guilt, or discomfort around asking questions about policies or elections. Our focus is to ensure women have access to nonpartisan information about the election process, including how and where to vote. 

We are helping women understand how they can increase their sense of agency, become more active in the community, and participate in activities such as volunteering, speaking at government meetings, and being informed about the issues that impact their wellbeing and the wellbeing of future generations. 

Elevating women’s voices is crucial to addressing gender-specific issues that might otherwise be overlooked. Concerns such as reproductive rights, childcare, equal pay, and violence against women are directly impacted by women’s civic participation and their presence in decision-making roles. 

Our Elevating Women’s Voices campaign includes a new web page with a wealth of information, videos, and links to connect women to resources that will assist them in increasing their civic participation in a non-partisan manner. Over the next several months, we will release a series of interviews with local female leaders who will share their perspectives and explore strategies that can transform women’s role in our society. 

 Women’s equal representation is essential in a well-functioning democracy. We see an opportunity to close the gender gap in our local political landscape, where there is a significant lack of female representation. We hope to encourage more women to run for office, position themselves for an appointive office, work on a campaign, or get involved in public life in other ways. Research shows that women’s representation in politics leads to better outcomes for women and girls, as well as for the entire society. 

Elevating women’s voices in the democratic process is not only a matter of fairness and equality but is crucial for the creation of policies that reflect the diverse needs and perspectives of the entire population. When women actively participate and are heard in the democratic process, it leads to more comprehensive and inclusive policymaking. 

To learn more about our Elevating Women’s Voices campaign.

About the WRC:

The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is a nonprofit organization that supports women of all ages and backgrounds in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Their mission is to provide unique strategies and resources to build self-confidence, determination, and hope for the future. The WRC offers various programs, including mental health counseling, employment services, financial aid, and more. They operate from three locations and run the Unique Boutique, a resale store that funds their programs.