On Thursday, September 27, the WHAMglobal team attended a luncheon hosted by the Women and Girls Foundation (WGF) for a policy briefing on women's issues in Pennsylvania.
The briefing included remarks from Pennsylvania State Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky, the first woman ever elected to represent Pennsylvania's 161st District. Representative Krueger-Braneky emphasized the importance of increasing the number of women serving in Pennsylvania's state legislature. Alarmingly, Pennsylvania currently ranks 49th in the country for female representation in office.
Along with Representative Krueger-Braneky's remarks, WGF also provided updates on some of their key initiatives, including GirlGov. GirlGov is a civic engagement program that trains girls to be our next generation of leaders. This year's class had a record-breaking 135 girls participate, from 6 different counties throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. GirlGov aspires to spark systemic change that can ultimately lead to higher rates of female representation in political office.
WGF also provided an update on their work on Paid Leave for Pennsylvania. WGF recently put together a document summarizing the key findings from a recent study conducted by the PA State Department of Labor and Industry. One of the key findings was that a majority of businesses in Pennsylvania support a statewide paid leave program. The report also found that increased access to paid leave can decrease an individual's risk of experiencing an overdose. Several separate studies suggest that maternal leave policies may also have a positive impact on overall maternal health.
WHAMglobal looks forward to collaborating with the Women and Girls Foundation in the future on important issues facing women today.