A 2015 report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (WPR) ranked all 50 states, plus DC and Puerto Rico on the status of women. Tennessee tied with Kentucky for #49. Rankings are based on indicators including Employment and Earnings, Poverty and Opportunity, Work and Family, and Health and Well-being. 

The Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga is leading the effort to move Tennessee from number 49 to number 1. We leverage strong relationships, partners in Chattanooga and across the state, and a robust network of supporters to address the root causes of inequity.

How will we get to number 1? By focusing our efforts around areas that improve the status of women in Tennessee. Here are just a few examples:

Employment and earnings – we will continue to fight for equal pay for women in Tennessee.

Work and family – we will ask lawmakers to pass the Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act, which requires certain reasonable accommodations for pregnant and nursing women in the workforce so that more women will be able to stay in the workforce through their reproductive years. 

Safety and Violence – we will build upon past successes in the areas of domestic violence and human trafficking to promote women’s safety at home and out in the world.

Health and wellbeing – We will continue to advocate for access to healthcare, family planning, and education about health.

Think we can’t get to number 1? Think again! We’ve already done it. We worked for 3 years to strengthen laws against human trafficking and during that time, Tennessee moved from unranked to number 1 in the country in anti-trafficking laws. We utilized the 5 indicators of social change to combat human trafficking and we’ll do it again to improve the status of women in Tennessee.  Here’s how it worked on the human trafficking campaign:

1.  Shift in Definition – a woman who is forced to have sex for money is not a prostitute, she is a victim of human trafficking.
2.  Shift in Behavior – by promoting awareness of the human trafficking hotline, calls to report hotline increased by 200%. We even put posters in every rest stop bathroom in Tennessee!
3.  Shift in Engagement – We led the Tennessee Women’s Fund Alliance to engage partners across the state in our work.
4.  Shift in Policy – We helped pass a number of laws to combat human trafficking, creating a new policy landscape in Tennessee.
5.  Maintaining Past Gains – Just because we reached number 1 does not mean we quit. We continue to work with partners and watch for opportunities to continue the fight against human trafficking. 

Not only do we have a record of moving Tennessee to #1, but here are a few ways that we’ve already helped improve Tennessee in the ranked areas:

We helped pass bills to improve rape-kit collection and testing across the state –Health and well-being, violence and safety
We helped pass a requirement that schools teach domestic violence awareness in middle and high school – Work and family, health and well-being, safety and violence.
We supported a bill that required 12 hours of jailing for anyone arrested for domestic violence to allow victims to make a plan for safety – Work and family, safety and violence.
We worked to defeat a law that jails mothers for drug addiction while pregnant – Work and family, reproductive rights, health and well-being.
We wrote and passed a bill to protect victims of domestic violence from being evicted for the abuse they suffer – Work and family, poverty and opportunity, health and well-being, safety and violence.

Please join us in taking Tennessee from 49 to 1!

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Edney Building

1100 Market Street
Registration 8:00 a.m.
Seminar 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m

2 hours General CLE Credit
CBA Members $45.00 / Non-Members $65.00 / Support Staff $25.00