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Women’s Vision and Values for Public Life

IWPR’s Working Group on Women’s Public Vision developed a draft statement on women’s values for public life. The statement is designed to provide a new frame for thinking about and articulating policies and practices that respond to women’s needs and concerns.

Our Vision:

Women’s full integration into public life is essential to building a truly democratic society, creating a more caring culture, and improving the lives of women, their families, and all communities. We call on leaders in politics, the economy, society, and religion to promote practices that empower women of all backgrounds and advance their equality and well-being in public and family life. We call for policies that embody the values of caring and consideration for humanity and support practices that encourage cooperative models of public life.

What We Value:

Equality and Individual Worth: We respect the dignity of all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, class, culture, religion, or age. We ask individuals to recognize the ways in which differences lead to both their privilege and their subordination. We call for polices that promote social welfare and provide equal and just use of resources in politics, the economy, and society. We call for practices that value individual expression and humanity and decommodify women’s bodies.

Balanced Power: We seek to include all voices in public life. We promote innovative and responsive strategies for building power together, validating the experiences of different people, and inspiring activism and engagement. We call for practices that give both women and men the tools to claim and wield power. We ask those with power to return it to their communities, and those without power to take the risk of claiming it.

Family: We call for stronger supports for building healthy families of all types and all generations. We recognize the importance of family and acknowledge the impact of our private relationships on our lives at work and in our communities. We promote family values of caring and compassion as beneficial to public life, and we call for ending gender subordination in families. We ask that public policies help families pursue these values in conditions of safety and security.

Community: We recognize the importance of treating each other with compassion and of building connections across lines of difference. We support opportunities for individuals to work, live, and organize collectively with people of diverse backgrounds to better their lives and communities.

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