the big idea: an ‘open door’ to opportunity means nothing if you can’t even reach it.
One open door can change a woman’s life, and the lives of those around her. An open door can mean access to the healthcare that ensures her future. The living wage that supports her family. The quality childcare and education that prepares her little ones to thrive. But not all doors are open to all women.
That’s why the Washington Area Women’s Foundation is reaffirming our commitment to equity. For 20 years, we have invested in and worked alongside our community to open doors for women and girls in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Every step of the way, we research and advocate for the programs and policies that find more doorways to her economic security, safety and opportunity.
But as we look to our next 20 years, we’re reflecting on the doors we’ve opened and and who they’re open to.
For the Washington region’s young women and girls of color, a complex set of obstacles determine her access to those same doorways: From the amount on her paycheck, to the racial and gender pay gap in her office. From the neighborhood she calls home, to the police who systematically target it. From what she looks like, to why so few of her teachers, doctors and employers look like her. From how her community sees her, to whether they see her at all. A young woman or girl of color in our community can see the door. But she can’t always reach it.
Great potential lies behind those doors. They open to a paycheck she can live on. The education she can build from. The reproductive healthcare services she can rely on. And they open to possibility that feels within her reach. When we recognize the doors historically closed to women and girls of color in our region, we help ensure that progress in our community includes all women and endures for all women. Because as the DC region’s sole public foundation specifically committed to investing in women and girls, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation has always opened doors to progress. Today, we won’t rest until all women have an opportunity to reach them, walk through them and find possibility on the other side.