Policy Agenda

The Women’s Public Policy Network advocates for the advancement of policies that fall into three broad categories:


Women working full time in Ohio continue to make 76 cents for every dollar their male colleagues take home, and the wage gap is even larger for women of color working full time. Making up two-thirds of the low-wage workforce, women are disproportionately impacted by issues facing low-wage workers, such as lack of paid leave. Across the country, women are more likely to be living in poverty, working part-time or for minimum wage. This is all despite having slightly higher levels of educational attainment than men. The Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network advocates for policies that promote economic security such as:

  • Increase the minimum wage
  • Improve the state earned income tax credit to benefit more working women
  • Increase access to paid sick and family leave
  • Increase affordability of child care, expand public preschool
  • Ensure pension protection and retirement security



The family structure has shifted significantly in the last three decades. Women make up 48 percent of Ohio’s workforce, and many families depend upon the wages of working mothers as women are becoming increasingly more likely to be the sole or primary breadwinner in their families. Additionally, many women face limitations to their career advancements as they are more likely to shoulder the burden of serving as caregivers for newborns or sick family members.

To promote women’s economic security, Ohio’s policies should address the needs of working mothers and reflect the roles that women are playing to provide for their families. The Women’s Public Policy Network promotes the following policies to ensure fairness and opportunity in the workplace:

  • Ensure pay equity for all women by protecting against pay discrimination on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, or disability
  • Promote fair and flexible work schedules
  • Protect the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively for fair wages, benefits and working conditions
  • Support breastfeeding mothers in the workplace
  • Protect against discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or caregiver status
  • Study ways to eliminate barriers to women’s career advancement
  • Promote ways to ensure opportunity for women to advance and excel in the business and entrepreneurial sector
  • Protect against discrimination against survivors of sexual and domestic violence in housing and the workplace
  • Prevent sexual harassment and violence in the workplace
  • Protect against discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity



Without access to adequate healthcare and treatment, the goal of equality and economic security is cut short before it begins. Health care costs are even higher for women who experienced physical or sexual abuse early in life.

For too long, ideological legislative agendas have hurt a woman’s access to healthcare and put politicians between a woman and her doctor; failing to give women complete autonomy to decide whether and when to have children. Comprehensive healthcare services (including behavioral, reproductive and dental health and addiction services) for women are fundamental to achieve economic self-sufficiency, yet politicians continue to introduce legislation that encroaches upon women’s healthcare choices. The Women’s Public Policy Network believes that women have a right to choose their own healthcare options and advocate for policies that improve women’s health and well-being such as:

  • Preserve access to and increase affordability of comprehensive healthcare for low income and working women
  • Protect against cultural and social barriers for obtaining healthcare services
  • Keep lawmakers and employers out of the practice of healthcare
  • Restore and protect access to contraception, reproductive healthcare and abortion
  • Ensure the physical and mental health needs of survivors of sexual and domestic violence are met without cost to the survivor, and the crimes against them investigated
  • Support community programs that prevent sexual and domestic violence such as healthy relationship education
  • Create new protections for survivors of sexual and domestic violence and stalking

Members of the Women’s Public Policy Network are committed to working to implement these and other pro-women policies at the state and local levels. Although member organizations may not endorse every individual policy promoted by the Women’s Public Policy Network, they will not actively work against such efforts to advance the policy.