How women of color are treated in the justice system, resources for mothers facing depression, and access to affordable childcare are topics of concern for one Utah women’s organization. A YWCA Utah conference later this month will bring together community stakeholders to discuss policies for addressing these areas.
Erin Jemison is the director of policy at YWCA Utah, an organization focused on issues facing women and people of color.
Access to affordable childcare is one issue her organization is concerned about.
“I would say that’s not just a women’s policy issue, that’s a family issue, that’s a business issue,” Jemison said.
She said as Utah employers worry about a workforce shortage, there are women who want to take these jobs, but don’t have the needed childcare.
“How do we make sure that workers are able to balance the needs of the most important thing in their lives, which is their families, with earning a living, being fulfilled in the workplace, and businesses getting the work that need to get done?” Jemison said.
A policy conference will be hosted by Jemison’s organization later this month where access to childcare will be among the discussion topics.
“We are really trying to create a unique space where policy experts, decision-makers and community members can come in and have conversations together about how we want things better and make Utah an even better place to live,” Jemison said.
Jemison said it’s important to begin these conversations now because there just isn’t enough time during Utah’s 45-day legislative session.
“Some of these more complex issues that really are about people’s values and what is happening in their day to day lives need to have time to really delve into them and bring more people to the table,” Jemison said.