Supporting Women and Girls

Gender Equity

We strive to unite and empower communities to advance equity and share opportunities for all. It’s hard work, especially when there are so many things that divide us. But beyond the divisiveness, we share the hope for our families, our loved ones, and our neighbors to thrive. We envision a community in which everyone can access education that inspires and equips, economic mobility that meets needs and builds futures, and health that provides strength and hope. But this is not yet the community we live in. We and our neighbors face profound and systemic barriers to foundational opportunities. The Supreme Court’s decision eliminating a woman’s federally-protected right to choose painfully compounds these challenges.

We fight for compassionate prenatal care, robust post-partum supports, child nutrition programs, paid family leave, family health care, quality child care, and transformative education for every family in our community. But we have not won this fight. We know that because the data tells us the U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality among the world’s wealthiest countries, and maternal mortality rates are three times higher for people of color. We know that because women in our community continue to tell us how they’ve been negatively affected by the health care system, especially when pregnant. We know that because women across our nation are scared and grieving.

Every single person deserves to live their best life, to have dignity, and to have the same chances and opportunities as others, regardless of their gender, race or the zip code where they were born. We stand with our sisters, daughters, colleagues, friends – all girls and women – who today have fewer rights than their own mothers, and we commit to do our part to ensure all in the Greater Louisville region have equitable access to health care and basic needs.

On this page you’ll find prenatal and maternal health resources; information on our advocacy for birthing parents, child care, and families with young children; ways to get involved and take action; and more.



Metro United Way recognizes that systemic change and lasting impact require a pairing of powerful programming and transformative policy making. Here are some of our advocacy wins and efforts around issues that affect women and families.

  • Secured and deployed more than $5 million of Louisville Metro Government pandemic relief dollars to support child care providers and the families they serve

  • Successfully advocated for Louisville Metro Council to invest $7.5 million of local ARPA funds in Early Learning. The investment will fuel child care and early learning projects to:

    – Address immediate COVID needs
    – Expand access to childcare and early learning
    – Increase quality early childhood education
    – Mitigate COVID-related developmental delays

  • After months of Ready for K Alliance and Metro United Way advocacy, Louisville Metro Council unanimously approved Land Development Code reforms that allow greater and more equitable access to child care where caregivers live and work. The ordinance, passed on March 17, eases location and capacity restrictions that previously prohibited most child care programs from operating on more than 60% of Jefferson County land covering residential and industrial zones.

  • Land Development Code reform improvements include:
    – Allowing Family Child Care Homes to apply for conditional use permits to serve up to the maximum number of children allowed by the Kentucky Division of Child Care–12 children.
    – Allowing child care centers to operate in residential zones when they meet special standards or receive a conditional use permit.
    – Allowing child care programs in industrial areas of employment where child care can be provided as an employee benefit when programs meet special standards or receive a conditional use permit.

  • Led advocacy efforts to pass HB 499, establishing the Employee Child Care Assistance Partnership which encourages employers to assist employees with the cost of child care by matching employer child care benefits with state dollars

  • Advocated for Senate Bill 178 (HB 174) which now extends Medicaid coverage up to 12 months postpartum for birthing parents

  • Supported the passage of Louisville Metro Council Ordinance O-132-21, providing the right to legal counsel for low-income families with at least one child in eviction court (April 2021)

  • Active Effort:
    Worked with the Ready for K Alliance to raise the voices, experiences, and recommendations of birthing parents facing systemic barriers to reliable, quality healthcare programs and services

  • Active Effort:
    Partnered with community organizations on a Child Care Assistance Program awareness campaign ensuring families are aware of expanded eligibility

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