North America

New organization aims to amplify women’s voices

EMILY's List is branching out.
The organization that helps elect women to political office is launching American Women, essentially a research arm with the goal of being the "definitive resource" on issues that matter most to women and families.
"We feel that we can amplify the voices of women across the country," says Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY's List, who will also lead the affiliated organization.
American Women, whose website went live Thursday night, was developed as a direct result of the 2012 elections. President Obama won 55% of the women's vote last year, as women voters rejected what Schriock called "anti-women" policies.
The idea is to provide broader context on key issues, by taking a deeper dive on matters such as workplace discrimination and support for families, so that women's voices can be heard by the legislators and opinion makers who help shape policies.
The new organization held group chats online with independent women who had some college education and conducted a national survey of women who voted in 2012 to get a better understanding of the state of the American woman. USA TODAY was given an exclusive look at the data before American Women's official launch.
A strong majority or 63% of the women said they feel as though their lives and those of their families have become harder. Diane Feldman, president of the Feldman Group and the pollster who conducted the survey for American Women, said there is "pervasive concern" out there about the economy and jobs, even among women with incomes over $75,000 a year.
Jaime, a 38-year-old homemaker who participated in one of the group chats, said her finances are her biggest stress. "It seems like there's always something that needs to be bought or someone who needs to be paid," said Jaime, whose last name was not provided in the research.
The research found that the top three worries for women are someone in their family becoming ill, not being able to afford retirement, and not having enough time in the day to do everything.
Schriock said the new organization hopes to help find "proactive" solutions for women, whether it is in leveling the playing field in the workplace, getting equal pay or changing policies so companies are more family-friendly.
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