At a press conference on Thursday, March 8, Director of Advocacy Services Mariá Balata, together with other representatives of local organizations that make up the Status of Women and Girls Working Group, joined the Office of the City Clerk in announcing Chicago’s New Deal for All Women and Girls, a series of 20 recommendations set forth by the working group. You can read the full press release here.

The Status of Women and Girls Working Group was launched in October of 2018 and brought together women and girls from all parts of Chicago to work together and find ways to bring greater equity and security to all young women and girls in Chicago. Committees worked diligently to come up with recommendations. A select few have been chosen to be prioritized.

The four key recommendations include:

  1. Making Chicago Public Schools (CPS) the national model for comprehensive health and sexual education by ensuring all CPS school have access to the same resources.
  2. Partnering with city and state officials to assess and accelerating sexual assault evidence collection practices to decrease testing time, eliminate backlogs, and improve support services for survivors.
  3. Supporting a fair and predictable scheduling ordinance that brings both business, advocates and families to the table to create a policy that supports working families.
  4. Launching a citywide initiative and Girls Summit in 2020 to facilitate a dialogue among young women, advocates and allies to listen and support public safety in Chicago.

The remaining recommendations include a broad array of policies, programs and initiatives that are grouped into three categories: economic security & empowerment, well-being and future. They are listed below:

Our Economic Security & Empowerment

  1. Create a task force to close the gender gap in industries where women are underrepresented.
  2. Expand paid parental and family leave for City of Chicago employees.
  3. Launch a multilingual public education campaign around tenants’ rights and evictions.
  4. Promote greater government coordination on housing and create a central resource.
  5. Improve Fair Housing enforcement.
  6. Create a career-building pipeline for women from underrepresented communities.
  7. Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) at the city and state.
  8. Strengthen the Women-Owned/Disadvantaged business designation.

Our Well-Being

  1. Pilot one of the nation’s first police “deflection” programs for women.
  2. Recruit more women as first responders.
  3. Work with CPD to assess the adoption of gender responsive training, policies and procedures.
  4. Create free access to transportation for pregnancy treatment and other health services.
  5. Create a series of mental health and first aid trainings to support at-risk adolescents.

Our Future

  1. Create an optional CPS financial education and entrepreneurship course and student group curriculum.
  2. Expand early childhood education access for young mothers.
  3. Train City employees on implicit bias.

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