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Milwaukee non-profit issues a challenge on International Women's Day

Posted at 6:23 AM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 08:48:58-05

MILWAUKEE — International Women's Day is a day to celebrate the achievements of women, but also, to raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.

Andrea Schneider, a law professor at Marquette University and the director of the Institute for Women's Leadership, says that research can transform gender equity and inclusivity in Milwaukee and beyond. "Whether we've learned about disparities in maternal health, whether we've learned about disparities in the minimum wage, whether we've learned about pay gap or whether we've learned about gaps in leadership," said Schneider.

Those working to empower women know that without data, it's hard to create change. "I think it's really important to understand that there's a difference to how a problem is solved, based on how well the problem is recognized," added Donna Rongholt-Migan, the executive director of the Cathedral Center.

In Milwaukee, Cathedral Center focuses on women and families facing some of the most fundamental troubles — they don't have a place to sleep. This year, the non-profit is putting a twist on its annual call for donations by asking people to take part in the 'Empowerment Challenge'. "We're challenging people to do something to act to empower women in the community," explained Rongholt-Migan. "We want to promote gender equity, we want to promote safety for women and families."

Rongholt-Migan said that can be as little as a kind act. "You notice maybe there's a single mom in your neighborhood who is very very busy — can you shovel or salt their walk?"

Or it can be something larger. "(Maybe) you're in a position to give someone a job and you're seeing people who come to you who are of equal quality," offered up Ronghold-Migan. She encouraged everyone to weigh those decisions judiciously and to consider qualified women and mothers as equally as you would any other candidate.

Advocates for women know the gender equity issue can't be solved in a day, but today is where we have to begin. "How we treat moms today and women today is going to have an impact 20 years from now on our workforce and on the quality of life that my children and your children and all of the other children are going to experience," said Rongholt-Migan.

To spread the word, you're encouraged to take a photo and share how you're taking part in the Empowerment Challenge on social media using the hashtag '#empowermentchallenge'.

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