YWCA USA Survey Highlights National Concerns and Policy Priorities – Majority of Women and Women of Color Want Action Now

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YWCA USA Survey Highlights National Concerns and Policy Priorities – Majority of Women and Women of Color Want Action Now


Washington, DC – YWCA USA’s 5th national YWomenVote survey* examined the priorities of women and women of color across America and revealed their concerns about a broad range of economic and societal issues. Two-thirds of the more than 3,000 women surveyed recognize that both federal and state midterm elections will have an impact on their personal lives, and women are eager to make their voices heard this November.

The latest YWomenVote survey highlighted the issues of greatest concern among women and women of color as the nation heads into the midterm elections. Powerfully, women in the U.S. remain united across perceived differences of race, ethnicity, party identification, and socioeconomic and disability status, in supporting policy solutions that address a range of racial justice, economic, and gender-based violence issues, that continue to disproportionately affect their daily lives.

“More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, women, and disproportionately women of color, are still carrying the weight of a nation and soon we’ll be leading the way to the polls,” said Margaret Mitchell, YWCA USA CEO. “Young women in particular are shouldering the burdens of economic uncertainty, threats to their bodily autonomy, and generation-defining experiences of racial violence, mass shootings, a national mental health crisis, and COVID-19. The depth and breadth of these lived experiences is profound and, as was also made clear through the YWomenVote survey, their vision and demand for change.”

For over 160 years, YWCA USA has been working to eliminate racism and empower women. Today, our country prides itself on leading democracies world-wide yet we find that more than half of our citizens are still not treated equally, and their concerns are increasing. The YWomenVote survey findings underscore the concerns and priorities of women and women of color and the work that remains to achieve equity including:

  • Women’s support for action to protect access to abortion and reproductive rights is strong and increasing
    • 81% of Gen Z women of color indicate Congressional action to protect access to abortion is very important (+19 percentage points in comparison to women overall)
    • 74% of women overall indicate support for Congress taking action to protect access to contraception
  • Women Want and Need Action on Child Care NOW
    • 59% of Gen Z women of color, 58% of millennial women of color, and 52% of mothers of school-aged children were very or somewhat worried about child care
    • 70% of women overall want action to expand access to high quality child care that is affordable, dependable, ad accessible (+3 percentage points since January 2022)
  • Economic Security Concerns Among Women and Women of Color remain high and increasing
    • 53% of Black women, 54% of Hispanic women and Latinas, 58% of AAPI women, and 34% AI/AN women were very or somewhat concerned about access to paid family and medical leave
    • 70% of Millennial women of color and 73% of Gen Z women of color were very or somewhat concerned about affording their rent or mortgage
  • Gun Violence and Mass Shootings Remain Among Priorities of Young Women of Color
    • 80% of Gen Z women of color and 75% of Millennial women of color are very or somewhat concerned about mass shootings and gun violence

As Americans head to the polls this November, YWCA USA is once again reiterating women’s concerns, both specific and in general, that have increased significantly in 2022.Women are demanding policy solutions that respond to these concerns, and it is time we listen.

Learn more about other significant findings and their implications at ywomenvote.org

*Survey Methodology: This online survey was designed and conducted by Finn Partners. It reached a total of N=3,354 women nationwide between June 21, 2022, and August 2, 2022. This sample is inclusive of oversamples of women in six states (N=400 in each of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas), younger women of color (N=200 Gen Z, N=200 millennial), and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women (N=81), all of which were weighted down to the appropriate size nationwide. The combined reach of this survey and additional oversamples enabled examination of demographic subgroups by race and ethnicity (Black women, Hispanic women/Latinas, Asian American and Pacific Islander women, and American Indian/Alaska Native women), and by generation.

YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families in a typical year. YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for over 160 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more at www.ywca.org.