We Want to Hear from You!

We hope you are having a nice fall, and building some amazing life-long connections through your YWTF chapters.  We thank you for all of the hard work you are doing for younger women nationwide.

We want to use this blog to build connections among our membership, and get to know some of the thousands of members across this country.

Since YWTF is the only national movement for younger women in their 20s and 30s, we thought we would start with the most significant question:

What younger women’s issue is most important to you and why?

Please use the comment section below to let us know what younger women’s issue gets you out of bed in the morning and motivates you to organize with YWTF!

Let the conversation begin!

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Younger Women’s Issues in the News

Australia Says It Will Open Combat Roles to Women, New York Times

Wangari Maathai: A ‘Mighty Woman’ Who Spoke Truth to Power
, from the Huffington Post

Gains Made in Equality of Incomes in Downturn
, New York Times

States Attack Planned Parenthood on Funding
, Regs, Womens eNews

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Weekly Roundup

Recent research from Harvard University on how we can close the gender gap with small ‘nudges’.

“Times Haven’t Changed for ‘The Help’ of Today, from Women’s ENews

Obama Administration: Health Insurers Must Cover Birth Control With No Copays,  The Huffington Post

Women gives birth during the Bar Exam, Chicago Tribune

Women Continue to Lose Jobs Despite Uptick in Job Market, National Women’s Law Center

Celebrating the Girls of Summer, New York Times

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A message from YWTF’s Volunteer Coordinator and YWTF’s Founder

***A message from YWTF’s Volunteer Coordinator, Shannon Lynberg and YWTF’s Founder, Alison Stein

Dear YWTF Members,

It’s incredible to think about the fact that YWTF started over six years ago, with a national meet-up that brought together over 100 younger women from 42 states. Our goal was, and has always been, to make YWTF an all-volunteer, self-sustaining nation-wide movement, fueled by the energy and enthusiasm of younger women nationwide.

Our goal was to make YWTF a “second home” for busy younger women—somewhere they can turn to that is outside their workplaces and their families, to gain a sense of community and empowerment. We have accomplished that goal. Today, YWTF has grown to over 5,000 members nationwide, with eight chapters across the country.

Nationally, YWTF has led projects addressing sexual assault on college campuses, work-life balance issues, and has sponsored a national fellowship program that helps support young women activists, entrepreneurs, and thinkers. If you have any questions about your current chapter, or if you are interested in starting a new chapter, please contact Shannon Lynberg, Volunteer Coordinator, at shannon@ywtf.org.  If you have questions about YWTF generally, please contact Shannon or Alison Stein, YWTF’s Founder, at alisonistein@gmail.com.

We look forward to continuing to build a movement with you. We thank you for your commitment to building the next generation of women leaders.

With gratitude, Shannon & Alison

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Weekly Roundup: News for Younger Women

Women’s distance runners head to California, The Daily Iowan

Supreme Court to decide whether millions of female employees can sue for sex discrimination, ABC News

From the triangle fire to Wisconsin, rights for women workers, Huffington Post

Abortion foes target family planning program, NPR

Egyptian women protesters tortured and forced to take virginity tests, Feministing

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Young Americans and Social Security

Cross posted from the IWPR blog:

Young Americans and Social Security

By Youngmin Yi

Bloggers, policy experts, and politicians are urging young Americans to care more about Social Security, whether they are asking us to love it, hate it, tweak it, or scrap it. But the results are already in: we care.

And if we could have it our way, Social Security would be here forever.

According to findings from an AARP report, the vast majority of people of all ages believe that Social Security is important, including 90 percent of those aged 18-29. A recent Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) survey confirms this sentiment among young adults: 63 percent of those aged 18-39 don’t support cutting Social Security benefits for deficit reduction and more than 60 percent of the group don’t think we pay enough for Social Security.

People my age (somewhere in my 20s) have grown up knowing and expecting that Social Security will be there for us in the future. Another IWPR report shows just how vital the program is for older Americans. It provides 50 percent or more of income for more than half of all men and women over the age of 65. Social Security also kept over 14 million people over the age of 65 out of poverty in 2009, 60 percent of whom are women.

In the wake of the Great Recession, American households saw their savings, home equity, and investments slip away, leaving many scrambling for resources. Pension payouts and asset values rise and fall with the tumultuous economy, and earnings remain uncertain in the face of high unemployment. But Social Security has remained a steadfast source of income in both good and bad times.

It is clear that Social Security will be important when we face retirement. But as the discussion remains focused on current retirees and deficit projections for future decades, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the Social Security debate needs our attention now and will affect us – young workers – more than anyone else.

Why is our voice important now?

Some of us already need Social Security.

If you’re like me and my friends, the term Social Security conjures up images of old age and years that lie far ahead. However, as of December 31, 2010, approximately 3.2 million children under the age of 18 were receiving Social Security benefits as children of disabled, deceased, or retired workers. 949,000 disabled children over the age of 18 were receiving benefits, as well. More than a third of Social Security beneficiaries are not retired workers. To some among us, Social Security is not only a promise of security when we are old, it is vital now.

We are already paying for and earning our retirement security.

Take a look at your most recent pay stub. It shows that you have had 4.2 percent of your wages withheld for the payroll tax, and therefore, Social Security; before the December 2010 tax package was passed, that amount was 6.2 percent of wages.  The inflammatory media and disconnected politicians have hammered away at the misguided notion that the exhaustion of the Social Security trust fund means ruin for us all. Their hypocrisy lies in the fact that younger people are told to worry and care about our future, yet policymakers give us even more of a reason to worry by threatening to cut and weaken the very program that would ensure income security for us in old age. Meanwhile, working Americans, including those our age, have been paying into Social Security with the expectation that we will receive the benefits that we have earned when it comes time to claim them.

Young Americans want Social Security to stay and stay secure.

We’ve heard the miscalculated and misrepresented statistics and the apocalyptic fear-mongering about this vital program. Now, it’s time that the naysayers listen to what young people have been saying all along.

Youngmin Yi is the Mariam K. Chamberlain Fellow for the 2010-2011 academic year. Originally from New Jersey, she graduated from Wellesley College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and French.

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Weekly Roundup: News for Younger Women

The War on Women’s health, Huffington Post

U.S. will keep helping Afghan women, Washington Post

Forty years of Women’s Liberation, The Guardian

Muslim women in America speak out, Christian Science Monitor

Women take center stage at women in the world summit, USAToday

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