Top Five on Friday

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Top Five on Friday

By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

This week was a busy one for equality, economic empowerment, safety and education. But there’s a common thread in this wide range of stories: it’s time to move past “conversation” and take action, as one kindergartner did in Ohio. Click here to join the YWCA’s Advocacy Network, and read on!

Top Five on Friday

1. The country is having a more open and honest discussion about sexual assault than we have ever had in the past, thanks to social media and the ease with which we can document and share attacks. However, the victims must still deal with a lack of privacy and anonymity as they try to move forward.

When Rape Goes Viral, by Ann Friedman, The Daily Beast/Newsweek

“For decades, the challenge facing anti-rape activists was to take what is often an intensely private crime—54 percent of sexual assaults are estimated to go unreported—and bring it to national attention as a pervasive crisis. Now that cases regularly crop up in which photos and videos of sexual assaults are circulated on social media, it’s becoming harder to argue that rape is anything but a public scourge. We are all bystanders. We all bear witness.”

2. As we recover from the economic crises of the past few years, it’s becoming apparent that not everyone is recovering the same way. Widely-reported job gains for women are not as positive as they may seem, as the majority of those jobs are low-wage, and the idea of raising the minimum wage is under fire in Congress.

Job Gains For Women In Recovery Are Mostly From Low-Wage Work, by Bryce Covert, ThinkProgress

Sixty percent of women’s job gains since the recovery period began in 2009 have been in low-wage occupations, according to a new analysis by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). This represents a big shift, as these jobs employed less than 15 percent of all working women in 2009.

In contrast, just 20 percent of the jobs men have added since the recovery have been in these low-pay jobs.”

3. This week’s feel-good story: A kindergarten boy in Canton, Ohio decided to recycle his old crayons and give them to children at the Canton YWCA’s two family shelters. Soon, this became an even bigger donation that makes us all proud.

Kindergartner gives $1,000 to kids living at Y shelter, by Charita Roshay, Canton Rep

“Not many 5-year-olds can count up to 1,000, but it’s not a problem for Warner Parks. On Wednesday, the Jackson Township boy donated $1,000 to the Canton YWCA to benefit children living in the agency’s two family shelters.

Warner won the money through a contest sponsored by Family Fun Magazine, said his mother, Jennifer.”

4. Firesteel, a collaborative effort led by YWCAs in Washington State, highlights the need

Image credit: Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs
Image credit: Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs

for childcare and better services for veterans, particularly female veterans, across the country.

From Soldier to Civilian: Affordable Childcare is an Unmet Need for Veterans, by Denise Miller, Firesteel

“‘I don’t even go to the VA unless it’s an emergency, because there’s no childcare. What would I do there with my four kids?’ she asked.

Leanna added that on the rare occasions when she does go to the VA, she feels out of place.

‘People ask me if I’m there to visit someone,’ she said.

Perhaps the first step toward helping women veterans is recognizing they exist.”

5. Recent conversations nationwide about student loans and the future of interest rates have revolved around economics — but there’s a bigger conversation that needs to be had, about the morality of charging increasingly more for education, and possibly setting students up for future failure. 

Morality and Student Loans, by Kristin Hawley, Ready for Zero

Students and their parents sign loan documents at each disbursement (usually each semester), so, yes, the majority understand what they’re getting into. Once graduation comes, though, reality hits and the loan payments, principal plus interest, become due.


Ironically, young people paying hundreds of dollars each month toward loans have a hard time getting mortgages or car loans. It’s proven that high student debt causes many borrowers to delay life events like marriage and children in order to finish paying for their education.

If you have a story that needs to be shared, let us know! Leave a link in the comments or send us a Tweet at @YWCAUSA.