With Find Your Power, it’s crucial to connect womxn with resources and tools to build a strong foundation. In order to provide relevant resources to womxn it’s important to review accessibility to technology and the internet. A study done by the Web Foundation surveyed thousands of poor urban men and women across nine developing countries and found that “while nearly all women and men own a phone, women are still nearly 50% less likely to access the internet than men in the same communities, with internet use reported by just 37% of women surveyed. Once online, women are 30-50% less likely than men to use the internet to increase their income or participate in public life.” Because of this accessibility gap, women are less able to take advantage of online resources, courses, and platforms, limiting their agency and opportunities for growth.
Advocacy for underrepresented women, especially women who have experienced abuse, and immigrant womxn is a priority of Find Your Power. Domestic abuse and gender-based violence are pervasive around the world and in the United States. Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of violent crime in the U.S., and each day, more than 20,000 calls are made to domestic abuse hotlines. In Minnesota alone, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience intimate partner violence of some kind in their lifetime (NCADV). In Minnesota, “33.7% of women and 23.5% of men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner rape and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.” Like the technology gap, gender-based violence keeps women from reaching the resources they need in order to become the best version of themselves.
At Find Your Power, we’re tackling these issues by researching the needs of underrepresented womxn in the Twin Cities to build a platform of resources that empower. We are currently in our research phase, surveying and interviewing women to determine what resources are most valuable and necessary for them. Once our research is complete, we will build an online resource library for these women to utilize. We are also in the process of creating an online course about self-love, self-care, and financial literacy for greater accessibility and outreach. By continuing the cycle of listening to the women we serve and connecting them to the resources they need, we hope to help women find their own power and the power within the women around them.
Find Your Power is constantly researching to understand what kinds of resources are needed. One of our primary markets includes abused women. In order to provide necessary tools for women to seek help, it’s important to understand the impact domestic abuse has. Specifically in Minnesota:
- 33.7% of Minnesota Women and 23.5% of Minnesota men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner rape and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.
- In 2011, Minnesota courts adjudicated 27,288 cases of domestic violence.
- Over 80% of domestic violence victims in 2002 did not report the violence to Minnesota law enforcement.
- 1 in 3 homeless women in Minnesota is homeless because of domestic violence.
FYP is working to launch programs for women to begin weaving a network of support. We want to create opportunities for women with similar goals or phases of life to gather for the exchange of ideas, encouragement, and accountability. For now, FYP works only with these communities of women within the US, mainly Minnesota, but we hope in the near future to extend this project internationally. From the existing research we’ve conducted to expand our efforts internationally, we found that there’s a few major factors for individuals to use internet in other countries.
- Sex, income, education and location are all significant determinants of whether people use the internet…People with higher levels of income and education are more likely to be online than those with lower income and education levels across all regions. Also, those in rural areas stand a lower chance of being connected.