Women’s Economic Security Initiative Launched

Women's Economic SecurityNearly two-thirds of working women in Monterey County are “economically insecure” – living on the edge of poverty, under constant financial stress. Research shows that economic prosperity for women is essential to the health and vitality of an entire community. To increase the number of women that are economically self-sufficient, the Women’s Fund will launch a three-year Women’s Economic Security (WES) Initiative in 2015.

The goal is to help low-income women, especially those caring for children, gain access to the education, training, and support services they need to secure increased wages and jobs with advancement potential. The ACTION Council of Monterey County has been selected to lead the pilot project, entitled Women’s Circles/Circulos de Mujeres. They will receive a grant of $225,000 over three years from the Women’s Fund to implement the program. Trained peer facilitators will organize neighborhood-based weekly group meetings in East Salinas, Greenfield and Castroville to help low-income women support themselves and each other in identifying and pursuing their educational/career goals, overcoming roadblocks, and developing life and self-advocacy skills.

This initiative is a way to help mothers break the cycle of poverty for their children. It’s another way the Women’s Fund invests in women and girls to support themselves and one another. – Christine Dawson, CFMC Director of Philanthropic Services

A grant of $90,000 from The Claire Giannini Fund will subsidize on-site and school childcare costs. Additionally, The Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation has granted a total of $75,000 over three years to support the initiative, and an anonymous donor has given $10,000 to support the emergency assistance fund.

The Women’s Fund was created to improve the lives and increase opportunities for women and girls in our community. Our vision is that every woman and girl in Monterey County has what she needs to be healthy confident and able to fulfill her dreams.