Today is a reason to celebrate! Today is International Women’s Day–and the month of March is also dedicated to the celebration of women’s economic, political, and social achievements. The first National Women’s Day in the United States was celebrated in 1909 and then in 1910 a committee (100 women from 17 countries) was organized and agreed that this day should be used as a strategy to promote equal rights, including suffrage, for women. We have come a long way since then in terms of women’s rights, but we still have milestones ahead of us! There are many women in our community who are working hard to advance women’s achievements, including a large group of women affiliated directly with United Way of Salt Lake, the Women’s Philanthropic Network.
While working for the United Way of Salt Lake I have been so impressed with the amazing network of women involved with our mission. There is something about the power that women can have when they come together to change things for the better. The Women’s Philanthropic Network is one of these amazingly diverse groups of women taking a leading role by investing in and influencing solutions to complex issues. Women want their efforts to bring about community change, that’s why members of the Women’s Philanthropic Network invest their resources in support of United Way of Salt Lake’s Welcome Centers and are now working on a new effort to further empower women through education!
The WPN’s new emphasis, Women for Educational Achievement, focuses on the following goals: elementary school students reading on grade level by 3rd grade, high school graduation rates improving through mentoring and engagement opportunities, and an emphasis on girls and teens obtaining a post-secondary degree.
Today, and all month long, we hope to remember how we as women can make a positive change in our neighborhoods. By encouraging and providing resources for a chance at post-secondary education, we hope that Utah women will become stronger by enhancing their lives through these educational goals.