Letters to the editor and op-eds in local community papers are an especially effective communications and advocacy tools.
Crisis Recovery: Write a Letter to the Editor
A stronger tomorrow begins with a society where women and families can not only survive — but thrive.
As women continue to bear a disproportionate burden of the ongoing crises harming our country, they need bold measures now. Americans need access to good jobs, affordable health care, high quality child care, and educational opportunities that prepare them for tomorrow’s jobs. But this can only be achieved by addressing a crumbling infrastructure that extends beyond bridges and roads. There is no one answer that will achieve recovery success for everyone — we must focus on all facets of life in order to move toward a more secure tomorrow.
We need strong and informed advocates to use their voice to ensure that women and families are kept at the center of crisis recovery.
This is where you come in.
Writing a letter to the editor (LTE) or an op-ed is a great way to educate and energize advocates, reach elected officials, and spread the word about important issues while calling for change. First, you will need to:
- Research the guidelines for your local paper.
- Find a local angle—has your paper covered or published an LTE or Op-Ed on crisis recovery yet? How have the past crisis relief bills impacted your life? What issues still need to be addressed for you to recover from the crisis?
- Assume nothing—do not assume readers know the details about the crisis recovery proposals, so be sure to include some concise background on both the topic and proposed improvements.
- Avoid sending the same letter to competing papers—select one to submit to and make sure your work is personalized.
- End with a call to action—demand that Congress passes bold crisis recovery measures that address the needs of women and families.
To further assist in this call to action, below we have collected resources on writing, key talking points, and background information on the crisis recovery proposals and how they would impact women and families to inform your work. Use these media outreach tools to correct and clarify facts for the public, spur news editors to cover the issue, and urge readers to support bold measures for crisis recovery.
Our elected officials must hear us loud and clear that women and families must be at the center of crisis recovery– write to your paper now to ensure your community is with us!
Crisis Recovery Talking Points
- At the start of 2020, women comprised half of the full-time labor force in our nation for the first time in the last decade. Three-quarters of moms are in the labor force, more than half of whom are the primary breadwinners for their families.
- Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, women have lost more than 5.3 million jobs and account for over half of net job losses. Women of color have been disproportionately impacted.
- Black women, Latinas, and other women of color are especially likely to be on the front lines of the crisis, risking their lives in jobs in health care, child care, and grocery stores; they are also being paid less than their male counterparts on average.
- Over half of mothers who left their jobs during the pandemic reportedly did so because their child’s school or daycare closed, and 1.5 million mothers are still reported missing from the workforce.
- Lost earnings due to the wage gap not only leave women without a financial cushion to weather the current crisis, but also make it harder for them to build wealth, contributing to racial and gender wealth gaps and creating barriers to families’ economic prosperity.
- If Americans are to succeed, we need access to good jobs, affordable health care, high quality child care, and educational opportunities that prepare us for tomorrow’s jobs. But this can only be achieved by addressing a crumbling infrastructure that extends beyond bridges and roads.
- There is no one answer that will achieve recovery success for everyone—we must address all facets of life in order to move towards a secure tomorrow. This means when we look to improve employment opportunities for women, we must also expand the services and systems required to support them.
- I/we urge all members of Congress to enact bold measures that center women in crisis recovery. We must build a society where women and families can not only survive—but thrive.
Example LTE template coming soon!
Want to engage more?
Check out our full list of advocacy actions to ensure that a stronger tomorrow includes the critical services women and families need today.
There are lots of ways to get involved with AAUW’s work to advance gender equity. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of women and girls.
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