The Frigid Bitch is a ladies-only event like no other!

The 5th Annual Frigid Bitch is a ladies-only alley cat that happens mid-February each year in cold and challenging conditions. Bike around Pittsburgh on Saturday, February 17 from 1 – 5 p.m. in the bitter weather with other women who share your love for biking. The cost is $5 to race, and all skills/fitness levels and bikes are welcome. Check out last year’s recap…

Grab your crew, or stay solo. Swag runs steep!
For more information, visit the event’s Facebook Page.

Ready to Run™ Pittsburgh

JANUARY 27, 2018

8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Ready to Run: Campaign Training for Women


Chatham University – Shadyside Campus
Pittsburgh, PA


Early-Bird Registration before January 5, 2018: $65
Registration on or after January 6, 2018: $75


**Ready to Run™ Registration Fees are fully refundable up to 48 hours before the program.

Women and Girls Foundation is Hiring!

The Women and Girls Foundation is looking for a passionate, versatile, and enthusiastic individual to join the team in the role of GirlGov Program Manager.

The Program Manager will perform a wide range of duties focused on empowering  high school girls (GirlGov). GirlGov was created by teen women for teen women, and is designed to provide local girls with the opportunity to learn, first hand, about civics, government, philanthropy, community involvement, women’s history, and leadership.

To learn more visit:

Wonder Woman Exclusive Screening with Women and Girls Foundation!

Tickets are $25 per person and include:  exclusive movie screening, Wonder Woman photobooth, and a copy of “World of Wakanda,” Yona Harvey and Roxanne Gay’s new comic book, for first 60 ticket buyers.
*Because despite the images portrayed in the media, not all wonder women are cisgender white heterosexual women.  In fact, most aren’t.

Seating is limited – purchase your tickets today! 

Join the Dress for Success Global #OpenDoorProject

Let’s make sure all women have the opportunity to succeed. Join the Dress for Succes #OpenDoorProject by using your shoe as a pledge to keep doors open to all women. For 20 years, Dress for Success has empowered women to achieve their full potential. Together, we can open every door for every woman.

Please support our movement so we can empower more women together.

SNAP A PIC.Show your support for the movement by posting a picture of your shoe holding a door open, or a picture of you propping a door open with your shoe. Pick a shoe/door that is meaningful and unique to you.

THANK A SPECIAL WOMAN.In the post, thank another woman (or women) who opened the door for you in your career, tag her, and invite her to create her own Open Door post.

SPREAD SUPPORT FOR THE MOVEMENT.Encourage and support other members of your network to continue to empower women everywhere by donating to Dress for Success at

TAG US.Make sure to include @dressforsuccess and #OpenDoorProject in your posts.

The 2017 Wage and Benefit Survey continues to make news!

Nonprofit Gender Wage Gap Closing,
But Significant Pay Disparity Still Exists

February 16, 2017

Female executives at nonprofits in southwestern Pennsylvania still don’t earn as much as their male peers, but the gap is getting smaller.

According to the 2017 Wage and Benefit Survey by the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University, women in senior leadership positions at the region’s nonprofits make 81 cents to the dollar of their male peers. In 2015, when the report was last released, women were earning 75 cents.  Read the full article!

YWCA Call for Nominations!

YWCA Greater Pittsburgh | Call for Nominations!
YWCA Greater Pittsburgh has launched a Call for Nominations for their 35th Annual Tribute to Women Leadership Awards Luncheon. Do you know a women who embodies YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women? Nominate her today for a Tribute to Women Award. Nominations are due Wednesday, February 22.


WHEN: Thursday, May 30 from 12:00-1:30 PM
WHERE: Westin Hotel, 1000 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Click HERE to nominate a woman & find the most up-to-date information

YWCA Westmoreland County | Call for Nominations!

YWCA Westmoreland County invites you to participate in the 23rd Annual YWCA Sportswomen of the Year Awards nomination process and program. The YWCA has honored over 1,000 female athletes, recognizing their accomplishments in sports and fitness. The Awards ceremony gives awards, including Sports Girl of the Year, Sports Team of the Year, and more! Submit your nominations today. Nominations are due Friday, March 3. Winners will be announced Monday, March 13.


WHEN: Tuesday, April 11

To see nomination categories & to submit a nominations, click HERE

Ready to Run Pennsylvania

Ready to Run™ Pennsylvania provides bi-partisan political training to encourage women to run for government leadership positions. The day-long program targets women considering or recently deciding to run for political office, providing training and mentoring by campaign professionals, political women, and officeholders.

Ready to Run™ Pennsylvania is part of the Ready to Run™ National Training Network of the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University (NJ).

Ready to Run™ Pittsburgh is on February 4, 2017 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at Chatham University – Shadyside Campus.


**Ready to Run™ Registration Fees are fully refundable up to 48 hours before the program.

Register online!

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute releases Women Give 2016

womengive16-coverThe Women’s Philanthropy Institute announces the release of Women Give 2016, new research about how generation, gender, and marriage affect charitable giving.

Giving in young adulthood: Gender differences and changing patterns across the generations finds that men’s and women’s donor behavior has changed over the past four decades and that women now have greater influence over charitable decision-making.

Women Give 2016 is the seventh in a series of signature research reports conducted at the Women’s Philanthropy Institute that focus on gender differences in giving to charitable organizations.

In times like these we need one another more than ever…

From our friends at the Women and Girls Foundation:

In times like these we need one another more than ever. We are touched and inspired by the calls and emails we’ve recieved from caring, passionate individuals who want to give their time, talent, and treasure to WGF. We have put together a list of options below for how you can get involved with WGF today, this week, and every day. Choose one or two or all of the above! There is so much work to do, and we are trying to keep our heads held high… We are holding on to the belief that together we can break down barriers so that every girl can rise and every woman can soar.

Here are a few ways you can volunteer your time to help us achieve this goal:

Volunteer Pow-Wow – A pow-wow is a ceremonial event to gather the tribe in order to center and focus for what is to come… In homage to, and to honor, our indigenous sisters we are organizing a volunteer gathering “pow-wow” prior to the screening of “A Thousand Voices” at Chatham University this coming Tuesday,  November 15.  Many of you have reached out to ask how you can volunteer for WGF. Please join us on Tuesday at 5 pm in the Welker Room at Chatham University. We will share detailed info on WGF programs and advocacy actions planned for the next 6 months and brainstorm ideas of how you can donate your time to help. Then after you have designed your volunteer action plan please join us for a free screening of “A Thousand Voices” a documentary that builds from thousands of voices to present one universal story of New Mexico’s Native American women. The film is part of the JustFilms film series a collaboration of WGF, Chatham University’s Women’s Institute, Women’s Law Project and New Voices Pittsburgh. Please RSVP to

Help Us Say Thank You – Did you know that WGF has no endowment? All of our work is supported by annual donations by individual women (and men) like you! And that is why taking a moment to say thank you to our donors is one of the most important and special things we can do each year. Join us to make thank you calls during our phone bank November 14th-18th from 10am-5pm, and November 15th from 10am-9pm at the WGF Office in Station Square. A wonderful way to commune with others at our office while sending some light and love to the women and men who support WGF.  Please RSVP to

Join our Family Leave Campaign by Sharing a Story – Take some time this weekend to interview one of your friends or family – for just a minute or two – about the struggles they faced when they had to take unpaid time off work to care for a loved one OR how having access to paid family leave made a transformative difference in the well-being of their family. Then email us a copy of your interview (or a link to it on Dropbox). The best way to change a lawmaker’s mind about the need for paid family leave is to share the stories of real people. By recording this interview and sharing it with us you will help WGF make the case for why we need a Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund in Pennsylvania. What’s a Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance Fund? Click here to learn more about FMLIs and this campaign and to sign up as a coalition member. Email interviews to:

Show your support at Wigle Whiskey in the Strip District on November 28th from 6-8pm for a fundraiser event to benefit WGF. There is no event charge, but a portion of sales will be donated by Wigle Whiskey to WGF to support our work advancing the rights and opportunities of women and girls. RSVP by clicking here.

Support WGF while doing your holiday shopping at Alex and Ani in Shadyside on Saturday, December 3rd from 4-6pm.  15% of all sales during the event will be donated to WGF.  Also, be sure to always shop at Amazon using this link: and Amazon donates a portion of every purchase to Women and Girls Foundation.

And finally, a great way to help support our work is to help us spread the word about all of these activities to your networks. Please post info about any or all of these items on social media or email or text to encourage your friends to join you in creating a better world for women and girls by supporting the Women and Girls Foundation.

Thank you again and we look forward to seeing you at one or more of these events!

In Sisterhood and Solidarity,
The team at the WGF

What’s Gender Got to Do With It?

Hosted by the Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics
Thursday, October 20th at 6:00 p.m. at the Chatham University Mellon Board Room

As the historic 2016 election draws near, we ask local experts to weigh in on the gender dynamics of the Presidential Election. Are the candidates perceived and evaluated differently? Who wins and who loses in this system? What can we learn from 2016?

Featured Panelists: Ruth Ann Dailey, Columnist, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Dr. Melanie Hughes, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Jennie Sweet-Cushman, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Chatham University

Register online

Just Films

Ten new social justice films, most screening for the first time in Pittsburgh. One a month, from September 2016 through June 2017.

Sponsored by the Chatham University Women’s Institute, New Voices Pittsburgh, the Women and Girls Foundation, and the Women’s Law Project.

Free and open to the public. Please register to receive important information about each screening (not required for attendance, but it helps you and us!)

All screenings at 6:30PM at Chatham University’s Shadyside campus.

Each film will be followed by a panel discussion or talk-back session to keep the dialogue going.

Refreshments available for purchase (and will benefit FACE, the Feminist.Activists.Creating.Equality student club).

yemanjasquareComing up next:
Yemanjá: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil
Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 6:30PM


Coro’s Women in Leadership XX Applications are now open!


Women in Leadership is a part-time training and networking opportunity for people who seek to learn and collaborate with others to improve the status of women in Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.

By participating in Women in Leadership, you will:

  • Get to know others who are passionate about improving the status of women
  • Explore challenges and opportunities facing women in western Pennsylvania
  • Receive mentoring while taking action to improve the status of women
  • Learn to build strong teams by leveraging people’s strengths
  • Hone your skills in group facilitation
  • Learn negotiation skills
  • Work with a coach to develop and execute your personal leadership development plan

We are now recruiting for Women in Leadership XX


Nomination Deadline: October 4th, 2016

Application Deadline: October 14th, 2016

Program Start Date: October 20th, 2016

**Civic Strategy Session (come learn about what we do! and apply early): October 4th, 2016

For more information, visit

Girls Rock! Pittsburgh 2016 Summer Camp!

Girls Rock! Pittsburgh is super excited to announce that our 2016 summer camp will be held on August 1st through 5th at Winchester Thurston! Our 2016 camp showcase will be held the evening of Saturday, August 6th in the school’s auditorium.

2016grpgh-624x832Our camp is open to self-identified girls ages eight to eighteen (3rd-12th grade). In just one week, campers will learn an instrument, form a band, write an original song, attend a variety of skill and confidence building workshops, and perform before a live audience! No musical experience necessary. More information about our summer camp is available here.

Apply to attend Girls Rock! Pittsburgh 2016 here now!

Applications are being reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis. The first round of acceptance letters will go out in early April.

No Limits for Women! Pittsburgh

A coalition of organizations and individuals have come together to have Pittsburgh join other cities in becoming a CEDAW City.  Our mission is to pass an ordinance that establishes the framework and reflects the principles of CEDAW (The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) and then to leverage that ordinance to improve the lives of women and girls in Pittsburgh. To date, 187 out of 193 United Nations member states have ratified CEDAW. The United States is one of only six countries — along with Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Palau and Tonga — that have not.  The Cities for CEDAW campaign is a grassroots movement to make the global local.
Currently we have an ordinance committee working on a draft of a city ordinance designed to codify the principles and goals of CEDAW, which we will share with the City Council Women’s Caucus and the Mayor’s Office to edit and augment.  The ordinance will focus on a number of important issues relevant to women and girls in Pittsburgh.
In order to be sure that the ordinance reflects the diverse needs and interests of women and girls in our region, we are focused on outreach, education, and conducting listening sessions with local neighborhoods, communities, individuals, and organizations.

You can find more information at our website or Facebook Cities for CEDAW Pittsburgh.  Or join us at our next CEDAW coalition meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 19 at 7:15 pm at the Friends Meeting House, 4836 Ellsworth Ave in Oakland.  All are welcome!

Applications are NOW being accepted for GirlGov 2016!!!

GirlGov-Logo-Horizontal-Color-LGFullSizeRender 83GirlGov, created by teen women for teen women, is designed to provide local girls with the opportunity to learn, first hand, about civics, government, philanthropy, community involvement, women’s history, and leadership.  The program is open to all girls entering 9th to 12th grade who live in Pennsylvania. There is no fee to participate.

Applications for GirlGov 2016-2017 are now open! Please click here to apply for the year long program.

Throughout the program year, GirlGov participants learn and implement new skills by participating in a variety of activities.  Since 2009, GirlGov girls have:

  • Traveled to Harrisburg annually to shadow state legislators and to advocate for policy changes to improve the lives of women and girls in their own communities and across the state;
  • Advocated for Sarah’s Bill (written by a GirlGov participant) to institute a Restraining Order law in PA – one of only 12 states that does not offer such protection);
  • Met with and learned from local, state, and national women in political careers;
  • Interned with local legislators’ district offices;
  • Held bake sales to illustrate the wage gap on National Equal Pay Day; men were charged $1 per item while women were charged only 75¢;
  • Organized Pittsburgh’s first International Day of the Girl Celebration in 2013;
  • Attended an invitation-only mentoring luncheon at the White House;
  • Introduced amazing women (and men) to the community at WGF’s annual awards gala;
  • Advocated for reduced school bus emissions to school boards;
  • Petitioned schools to include LGBTQ issues in teacher diversity training;
  • Raised local awareness of the conflict in Syria;
  • Explored nonprofit and government career options;
  • Petitioned Pittsburgh City Council to approve the Paid Sick Day ordinance;
  • Met and heard from accomplished women working in and with government;
  • Became more involved in community civics;
  • And most of all — had FUN through GirlGov!

FullSizeRender 80WGF began programming for girls in 2005, serving twenty-four Allegheny County teens. While the group was small, they were certainly mighty!  That first year, the girls launched their International Headline grabbing “Girlcott” of Abercrombie and Fitch for selling sexist t-shirts to teenage women, thereby launching WGF into the news spotlight and winning the girls their first advocacy victory.   In 2009, the year-long GirlGov program was formalized with the help of the very girls it serves.  To date GirlGov has trained nearly 500 young women from Southwest Pennsylvania to be our state’s next generation of leaders.

Back-to-back events at the PA Center for Women in Politics

Navigating Gendered Terrain:Stereotypes and Strategy in Political Campaigns
Tuesday, March 22 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. at Chatham University, Shadyside Campus

Join the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics and the Women’s Institute as we welcome Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Kelly Dittmar to Chatham University. We will host a wine and cheese reception followed by a lecture on Kelly Dittmar’s book Navigating Gendered Terrain: Stereotypes and Strategy in Political Campaigns.  Register online.

Gender and Presidential Politics Panel 
March 23 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Chatham University, Shadyside Campus, Mellon Board Room

Join the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics and the Chatham University Women’s Institute as we explore how gender is influencing the 2016 presidential election. Please read on to find out more about our distinguished panelists. Register online.

Dr. Kelly Dittmar is a Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. 

Dr. Kristin Kanthak
is an Associate Professor of  Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Nancy Patton Mills is the Chair of the Democratic Party of Allegheny County.


Christine Toretti is a Republican National Committeewoman.


The Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics and the Women’s Institute would like to gratefully acknowledge Tom and Bonnie VanKirk ’81 for supporting our Scholar-In-Residence program.

4th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest Presented by UPMC

The Fourth Annual Essay Contest, presented by UPMC, provides the opportunity for regional youth to consider the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in conjunction with Women’s History Month. The 2016 theme for Women’s History Month is “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.”  Visit the Girls Coalition Website for more details!   The fight for equal rights is long from over, and whether in classrooms, boardrooms, in the media, and on the floor of congress, we need unity in order to achieve a society where every person has the opportunity to make a difference.


  • Students in grades 6-12 are eligible
  • Submissions must include, first and last name, age and grade, and school, as well as the contact name, phone, and email for one parent or guardian
  • Essay can be written (1,000 word max) or be a photo essay (minimum 10 photographs and max of 30)
  • Submit all essays by 6pm on 2/26/16 to
DEADLINE for submission is Friday, February 26, 2016
Email to submit entries or for any questions.

Strong Girls And Wise Women: Sustaining Feminism For The Future

The annual Association for Women in Psychology Conference returns to Pittsburgh in 2016 on
March 3 – 6 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Register today!

By drawing upon the legacy and energy of our feminist foremothers, we will explore the well-being of girls and women of all gender expressions and identities throughout the lifespan. From within a feminist psychological context, we will examine research, therapy, community work, activism and advocacy. Throughout the conference we will highlight the voices of those who have often been silenced, including girls and older women, and we will emphasize dreams, accomplishments, and wisdom. We will explore the lives of girls and women of varying cultural backgrounds, examining how our intersecting identities afford us different advantages and adversities. Join us for a celebration of our feminist foremothers’ victories for social change and a forging of new pathways for future generations of feminists, all the while recognizing the tensions that can arise when doing intergenerational feminist work. We seek to explore these tensions in a context that fosters growth and the development of mutual understanding. While we will focus on the lives of girls and women, we explicitly welcome all voices to the conversation, regardless of gender identity.

The Association for Women in Psychology was founded by members of the American Psychological Association in 1969. Frustrated with broader sexism in psychology, as well as within the APA itself, founders of AWP sought to respond to issues raised by the women’s liberation movement. For a more detailed history of AWP, please visit and explore Leonore Tiefer’s (1991) essay, “A Brief History of the Association for Women in Psychology.”

2016 Crossroads Conference is March 10

Thursday, March 10, 2016 from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm at the Sheraton Station Square



In service of the Women and Girls Foundation’s (WGF) mission to develop women leaders, and timed to coincide with Women’s History Month in March, the Crossroads Conference focuses on connecting women to one another and to the community resources which can help further their professional careers and strengthen their personal lives.

Who attends this conference? Any woman who is at a bend in the road. Any woman who is grappling with a career-changing situation. Any woman who feels like life just punched her in the stomach. Any woman who has just won the lottery. Any woman looking to take a leap and not look back. All of us have encountered personal and professional crossroad moments – a time when we came to a fork in the road when we had to decide between two paths, two different potential directions to take our life, our love, our career. We have also each experienced the painful moments of being thrust into a crossroad – a diagnosis, a loss, a layoff, a move – that we could not have predicted or prepared for. We hope that this conference will create a community in which we can help women see each other as resources to help them navigate these moments and connect to resources in the community that can assist them at these times of contemplation and/or need.  Our inaugural conference in 2015 drew nearly 500 women from ELEVEN counties!

Our 20 speakers will represent women of all ages, races, ethnicities, income levels, career stages, and life experiences.  They will share – in just 5 minutes each – their own story, with the aim of inspiring others who are facing similar Crossroads.

Register today!

Girls Can Change the World! Be Inspired 2015

Created in 2013 with the specific goal to feature girls who were taking an active role in
making a difference in the local Pittsburgh community and beyond, Be Inspired is an event that will continue to acknowledge girls and young women in our region who are making a difference-through advocacy, arts, entrepreneurship, and so much more.

This year, as we’ve done each year, we will focus on girls from the Pittsburgh are area and beyond who are doing inspiring work and creating positive waves in the community. Don’t miss this exciting event!

WHEN: Saturday, December 5th, 2015 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
WHERE: The New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square E, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
PRICE: $7 per person, Groups of 5 or more: $5 per person

Newly Elected Officials Course at the Local Government Academy

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Candidates for the Nov. 3, 2015 General Election are invited to register and attend the 2015 – 2016 Newly Elected Officials Course presented by Local Government Academy. This one-of-a-kind course is unique in Pennsylvania for its scope and content. More than 1,000 individuals have attended the Newly Elected Officials Course in its more than 30 years of existence, and the course has been distinguished as a recipient of the League of Women Voters Good Government Award.

The Newly Elected Officials Course or NEOC, offers a comprehensive overview of the duties of municipal officials, taught by experts in their fields. Reference material is provided to accompany each session. The course also introduces you to your peers in local government – an opportunity for networking and making new friends.

There are three course options you may pick from when deciding to attend:

  1. Opening Day Only = $30
  2. Saturday Only Sessions, includes Opening Day = $275
  3. Certificate Course, includes Opening Day = $450

downloadVisit the Newly Elected Officials Course page on the Local Government Academy’s website for more information!


Women, Advocacy, and Action

September 16 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. at Chatham University, Shadyside Campus, Mellon Board Room

Join the Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics, Chatham University Office of Career Development, and the YWCA Young Leaders Board in the Mellon Board Room for a networking event with women leaders working in the field of political and social advocacy.

This event will start with a wine and cheese networking reception followed by a panel discussion. Our panelists and featured guests are:

  • Melisa Campbell, Analyst at BNY Mellon
  • Susan Frietsche, Senior Staff Attorney at the Women’s Law Project
  • Representative Erin Molchany, Director of the Southwest Office of the Governor
  • LaTrenda Leonard Sherrill, Deputy Chief of Operations and Administration, City of Pittsburgh Office of the Mayor

Cost is $10 per person.
Register online at The Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics event page.

Check out The Center for Women’s July – September Program Calendar

Financial education and Women helping women classes are available now! Visit the events webpage to see the extensive list of all upcoming programs.

Financial readiness programs focus on the financial needs of women, providing skills and knowledge leading to informed decision-making through an understanding of finances and financial fitness. From learning to balance a checkbook to living on a new family budget, the Center for Women’s financial education classes are aimed at helping women through all phases on her road to economic independence.

Professional women provide programs, sessions and workshops in their areas of professional expertise to assist clients at the Center for Women. Subject areas include financial fitness and guidance, networking and the changing workforce and more. Women Helping Women also provides mentoring and internship opportunities, lending an opportunity to connect and learn directly from women in key positions in Pittsburgh’s workforce.

Registration is required for all programs. Please register at least 48 hours in advance of program date; last-minute registrations will be accepted based on availability. Contact Sheri Minkoff at coordinator@cfwpgh.orgor 412-421-4400 to register. Registered participants will be contacted by email in the event of a program cancellation. Interested in seeing a particular topic at an upcoming workshop? Contact us!

Hollaback! Pittsburgh


Have you experienced street harassment in our city? Share your story with Hollaback! Pittsburgh, a local chapter of an international movement to end street harassment.

Hollaback! is a movement dedicated to ending street harassment using mobile technology. Street harassment is one of the most pervasive forms of gender-based violence and one of the least legislated against. Comments from “You’d look good on me” to groping, flashing and assault are a daily, global reality for women and LGBTQ individuals. But it is rarely reported, and it’s culturally accepted as ‘the price you pay’ for being a woman or LGBTQ. At Hollaback!, we don’t buy it.

We believe that everyone has a right to feel safe and confident without being objectified. Sexual harassment is a gateway crime that creates a cultural environment that makes gender-based violence okay. There exists a clear legal framework to reproach sexual harassment and abuse in the home and at work, but when it comes to the streets—all bets are off. This gap isn’t because street harassment hurts any less, it’s because there hasn’t been a solution. Until now. The explosion of mobile technology has given us an unprecedented opportunity to end street harassment—and with it, the opportunity to take on one of the final new frontiers for women’s rights around the word.

unnamed (1)By collecting women and LGBTQ folks’ stories and pictures in a safe and share-able way with our very own mobile phone applications, Hollaback! is creating a crowd-sourced initiative to end street harassment. Hollaback! breaks the silence that has perpetuated sexual violence internationally, asserts that any and all gender-based violence is unacceptable, and creates a world where we have an option—and, more importantly—a response.

To learn more and share your story, visit


GirlGov applications are due on April 24!

The Women and Girls Foundation is excited to begin accepting applications for our 2015 GirlGov programming year.  We hope you can help to let girls (and their parents) in your network know about this exciting opportunity and encourage them to apply!

The Women and Girls Foundation’s Sixth Annual GirlGov programming year kicks off with a four day trip to visit the State Capitol June 14th through 17th. GirlGov, created by teen women for teen women, is designed to provide local girls with the opportunity to learn, first hand, about government, community involvement, women’s history, and leadership. Participants will shadow a state legislator and learn about current public policy issues impacting women’s and girls’ lives in our region.  The program is open to all girls entering 9th to 12th grade in the Fall of 2015 who live in Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. Past GirlGov participants are welcome to apply. Transportation, overnight accommodations, and meals are included; there is no fee to participate.

This year’s program promises to be our biggest and best yet!  Participants will have opportunities to:

  • Shadow a state legislator for a day at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg;
  • Learn about philanthropy and grantmaking, and award $10,000 to local girl-led projects;
  • Explore nonprofit and government career options;
  • Discuss issues affecting women and girls with key decision makers;
  • Meet and hear from accomplished women working in and with government;
  • Become (more) involved in community civics;
  • Most of all — have fun!

GirlGov 2015 Poster


How you can help:

  • Publish information about this opportunity in your organization’s newsletter, website, and social media
  • Mention this opportunity at your next staff, board, or committee meeting

Please go to to apply to be in the 2015 GirlGov program. Application deadline is Friday, April 24th. Thank you in advance for your help in reaching teen girls in your network.  Please do not hesitate to contact Blayre Holmes directly at 412-258-2567 or if you have further questions or would like hard copies of the GirlGov applications for distribution.

“Madame Presidenta” screening at the PA Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University

About the Film

The Women and Girls Foundation has partnered with their sisters at ELAS Women’s Social Investment Fund in Rio de Janeiro on a project we call Madame Presidenta:  Why Not U.S.? — Vamos Meninas! (which means Let’s Go Girls in Portuguese). Watch the trailer below to learn more about it!


In January 2013, Heather Arnet, WGF’s CEO traveled to Brazil to meet with the team at ELAS to explore the changing political and economic roles women are playing in Brazil’s global leadership. While in Brazil, Arnet investigated…How Brazil came to elect its first woman president, Dilma Rousseff, in 2010? What impact her presidency is having on global markets, women’s rights and opportunities? And what can American women and businesses learn from our Brazilian sisters and their passionate and successful surge towards economic prosperity and political leadership?

How to Register

Celebrate Constitution Day with the PA Center for Women in Politics at Chatham University! Join us for a viewing of the documentary Madame Presidenta: Why Not U.S.? -Vamos Meninas on Wednesday, September 17 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Eddy Theater at Chatham University.  The film will be followed by a panel discussion. Snacks and beverages will be served.  The event is free, but registration is required.

The film premiered on WQED in March 2013, it has been shown in NYC, Washington, D.C., Chautauqua, NY, and several universities including Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh and California University of Pennsylvania. This fall, the film has additional screenings booked in New York City, Denver, San Francisco, and additional locations and universities throughout Pennsylvania. 

Women’s Center and Shelter Launches App to Help Save Lives

by Ashley Johnson, Courier Staff Writer
February 26, 2014
Visit the New Pittsburgh Courier for full article with photos

The Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh has been reaching out to women and children who are victims of domestic violence for four decades. Each year, through their services and programs, they serve more than 7,000 people; but now, through their new innovative tool, they can offer the gift of safety to even more.This month the center is launching their new RUSafe App, which helps users identify if they are in at-risk situation for domestic violence. The App, which is free to iPhone and Android users, helps to assess one’s level of danger through a series a questions about his or her relationship.

“I’m really excited about the launch of the App. With people using so many Apps today for so many different things, I think this is just another way to try to reach people that we might not have contact with,” said Shirl Regan, president and CEO of WC&S. “It is another way to help people become safe. Anybody can use it anytime and you can share it with everybody.”

The App, which was quietly launched in January and is now available to the public, was developed by the WC&S through a partnership with Newton Consulting and is an extension of the Pittsburgh’s December implementation of the Maryland Lethality Assessment Program (LAP).

The implementation of LAP is to prevent domestic violence homicides, serious injuries and re-assaults by encouraging victims to use shelters, counseling and support services of domestic violence programs. WC&S has teamed up with City Council and Pittsburgh Police. Now when officers are called to what is believed to be a domestic violence call, they administer an 11-point lethality assessment. If the person scores high, officers encourage the victims to seek help.

“We wanted to make these questions available to anyone no matter where they were,” said Regan.

While many organizations use the same questions, Regan said she believes that WC&S is the first program to make it available in an App form.

According to WC&S, in December 2013, their hotline answered 71 calls from police officers assisting victims and spoke to 61 of those individuals. In January of this year, they answered 111 calls and spoke to 91 victims.

The way the RUSafe App works is that users are asked a series of question, once completed it calculates the responses and, if there is a cause for concern, it allows them to call WC&S’ 24-hour hotline. If there is immediate danger, the user can directly call 9-1-1.

“Often when women look at these questions and realize their answers are more yes than no, they then want to talk to somebody. We find the material in the App is a great conversation starter and as a way to help women start looking at putting together a safety plan.”

While it is an assessment, Regan said, she doesn’t want to say that the App can tell a person exactly if they are in danger, because nothing can be exact.

“And one of the ways we think this could be helpful is if you have a friend that you are worried about, you might be able to share this App with them, or if you want to educate someone, you can share the App with someone, of if you’re in a medical setting you may want to share the App with one of your patients. It’s another way of getting the word out,” she said.

Regan said the App took two-and-a-half to three months to develop. She said Newton Consulting donated their time and put it together.

“When we learned about this project, we became very excited about the opportunity to help figure out the application concept with the center staff, and then provide the technology services to bring their vision to reality,” said Phil Kossler, director of Application Development and Mobile Solutions at Newton Consulting.

“The idea that a person can self assess their risk using RUSafe and have direct contact to the shelter hotline in the palm of their hands, at their moment of need – that’s an empowering solution,” said Kossler.

“Nearly everyone has a smart phone these days. The immediate accessibility to this app from any place at any time changes the paradigm and will hopefully make a difference in the lives of those at risk.”

The App is free, easy to download, simple to use and worth it; it could be the key to saving someone’s life.

For more information on domestic violence or the WC&S’ services, contact 412-687-8017 or visit