WASHINGTON -- January 27 -- The Younger Womens Task Force (YWTF), a grassroots coalition of over 200 younger women working to shape the next generation of the women's movement, announces its first national Meet-Up in Washington, D.C., January 28-30, 2005.
Over 100 young women, ages 19-39, representing almost every region in the country will convene in the nations capital to determine the social, cultural and legislative priorities of their generation. The YWTF will craft an agenda and action plan for the next four years, giving weight and clarity to the elusive voice of younger women in America.
This meeting is the first step towards a national outreach effort to organize younger women around a unifying agenda and to gain participation," explained Martha Burk, Chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, the sponsoring organization of the YWTF. "Its a pivotal moment in the womens movement, as priorities for younger women may be quite different from those we once organized around."
Participants of the Meet-Up were chosen based on their personal understanding of and experiences with womens issues. Participants include a candidate running for state senate in a district that has never elected a woman; a mother on welfare with two young children who is trying to start a local welfare advocacy group; a student trying to break into the male-dominated science world at her graduate university; an investment banker who has seen her male colleagues promoted instead of her. The YWTF raised significant funds to pay for participants' travel and expenses for the Meet-Up.
Giving Feminism a Facelift
The Meet-Up will feature younger women speakers and activists, dinners with senior women leaders and younger women participants, and a series of issue discussions and focus groups to address current lifestyle issues of concern. Potential topics include balancing career and family, as well as policy issues like reproductive rights and domestic violence.
Too many women in my generation do not identify with the womens movement of our mothers and grandmothers," says Cathleen Witter, Co-Chair of the Task Force. "YWTF is seeking to improve womens lives and ensure that the concerns of all young American women are heard, regardless if they would describe themselves as part of womens movement, or are 9-5 feminists.
Weve all heard that it is nearly impossible for women to balance work, marriage, and motherhood, added Alison Stein, founder of the YWTF. YWTF is taking that first step for our generation to change societal norms and allow young women to have everything they want successful career, loving family and equal privileges--just as men have been able to enjoy.
After the national Meet-Up, participants will return their states and cities to launch regional chapters of the Task Force, build a grassroots movement, lobby state and local governments, reach out to the media, and build their membership base, working towards the established goals of the National Meet-Up.
In addition, November 1, 2004s issue of The New Yorker featured Stein and three other YWTF members in Richard Avedon's Democracy 2004, as an example of a dynamic group organizing amidst a crucial Presidential election campaign.