WHAT IS NEWPI?
NEWPI is the NEW ENGLAND WOMEN’s POLICY INITIATIVE – a long-term, nonpartisan effort to advance the goal of ensuring economic security for all women and their families. Given the widening wealth gap in our society, the on-going gender gap in women’s wages – particularly for women of color – and women’s continued exclusion form many well paying occupations, there is a need for regional collaboration and strategic thinking.
The co-conveners of NEWPI have joined together to forge a multi-year plan for policy development, policy action, setting benchmarks, and measuring progress on key economic indicators.
NEWPI defines “policy” to include public policy, public-private partnerships, and voluntary employer policies. NEWPI includes a broad cross section of stakeholders including leaders and organizations from the public, private and non profit sectors. What they share is a desire to lead change for women and their families across, age, race, ethnic and income lines.
NEWPI is spearheaded by the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston. Regional activities and a biennial conference are co-convened every other year by Women’s Commissions and Women’s Funds from the six New England states. In the intervening years, states lead legislative campaigns, organize trainings on salary negotiation and other issues women need to learn about to survive and thrive economically. They create state-based coalitions to fight for new public policies and collaborate with private sector leaders in setting just and equitable policies inside their own companies.
The individuals and organizations that participate in NEWPI are united around a common “Call to Action” that was drafted by attendees at the first New England Women’s Policy Conference in 2014 and the issues highlighted still guide policy action today. These include:
- Wages and Economic Security: Good jobs at livable wages, works to raise the minim wage, narrow the gender gap in wages, and ensure retirement security for all.
- Workforce Development, Training and Educational Opportunities: Access to good jobs at livable wages through expanded training programs, including training for non-traditional jobs, and loan assistance and debt forgiveness for college/vocational school.
- Health and Family Leave Policies: Preserving the Affordable Care Act, as well as earned sick time on the job and paid family and medical leave when workers must temporarily leave their jobs to care for close family members.
- Early Care and Education: Access to affordable and accessible early care and education program, including universal Pre-K, and improving the compensation, benefits and professional development opportunities for the early care and education workforce.
- Elder Care: Investment in high quality and affordable elder care services, support for family caregivers and improving the wages, benefits and working conditions for home health care workforce.
Crossing these key policy priorities needed to ensure economic security for women and their families are two fundamental NEWPI commitments;
Safety from sexual harassment and Sexual Assault – this covers workplaces, public/community spaces and domestic spaces.
Advancing women’s “political” leadership – be it in elective office or appointed government positions, as well as their leadership in private and nonprofit organizations, we need to expand opportunities for women’s leadership across all sectors.
We hope you take a look at our planning partners and join the movement in your community, as well as following the regional dialogue here!