Advocating for Human Rights During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 Pandemic is affecting all areas of human rights and social justice. 

Below, please find actions you can take to advocate with local, state and federal officials, as well as specific actions Women’s Voices as an organization has taken.


Economic Justice

Action Items

Tell the Senate: Don’t let COVID-19 upend our democracy

The House has just passed the HEROES Act, a comprehensive stimulus package to revitalize our economy, help everyday Americans, and protect our democracy. It allocates the resources we need to make sure nobody loses their right to be heard during this pandemic. Now, it’s the Senate’s turn to sign off on this funding. Demand your senators vote for a strong, comprehensive HEROES Act. Read more and sign here.

Tell Congress to Pass Emergency Fair Housing Funding NOW!

Call your members of Congress ASAP to ensure we have the adequate resources to respond to discrimination in this time of crisis. Contact your legislators here.


Tell Gov. Parson to declare grocery workers first responders now!

Grocery store workers and pharmacy techs are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are working long hours to stock shelves, clean stores, keep food on the tables of our communities, and ensure that our families can get the medication they need.

Sign petition here.


Organizational Actions

Women’s Voices co-president Ruth Ehresman submitted a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) stating that now is not the time to change the definition of poverty. Read more here.



Organizational Actions

Women’s Voices has signed on the a letter to MO Gov. Parson, Missouri Department of Social Services, County Executive Samuel Page, Mayor Lyda Krewson, St. Louis County Council, St. Louis City Board of Aldermen, St. Louis City and County Health Departments demanding local and state leaders to support the essential work of early childhood educators. Read more here.

Gun Violence

Action Items

Tell Donald Trump: Gun Stores Are Not Essential During the Coronavirus Crisis

During a time of a national pandemic crisis, we need the president to work to reduce panic-buying of guns rather than doing favors for the corporate gun lobby groups that are using Coronavirus fears to spur gun sales. Sign petition here.


Health Care

Action Items

COVID-19 RESPONSE-Public Health Policy Recommendations for Missouri

Sign the petition to demand that local and state policymakers should implement a comprehensive set of policies targeted at the populations most at risk of contracting COVID-19, and the institutions and practices that pose the greatest threat.


Organizational Actions

Women’ s Voices joined organizations from across the country in signing a letter crafted by Families USA urging congressional action on key health care priorities in the next COVID legislation. The letter advocates for Congress to advance specific policies in the next COVID package that will:

  • Ensure access to affordable health insurance coverage for all.
  • Provide states, localities, and tribes with the financial support they need to respond effectively.
  • Protect the health and safety of the health care workforce.
  • Organize national public health capacity.
  • Protect all patients’ access to care and prohibit price gouging of health care services.
  • Prioritize children’s health and well-being.

Read the letter here.

Families USA has created an Infographic on the Five COVID-19 Policy Recommendations included in their letter, which can be viewed here.


Human Rights

Action Items

​Demand stronger workplace health and safety protections for frontline food workers

Frontline food workers still lack the necessary protective gear to keep themselves safe in the workplace and are dying from the virus at alarming rates.In order to protect workers and keep communities safe, OSHA must enact and enforce emergency protections for food workers today. Read more and sign the petition here.

Contact President Trump, Gov. Parson and other state and federal lawmakers to take action on housing assistance and food assistance for Missourians

Advocate on behalf of Missourians who are in most need of assistance by supporting the following crucial provisions to be included in the next set of stimulus legislation:

  • Immediately increase the maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit by 15 percent.
  • Raise the minimum SNAP benefit from 16 dollars to 30 dollars a month.
  • Suspend all SNAP rule changes and work requirements indefinitely.
  • Issue an immediate rent and mortgage suspension for April, May, and June.
  • Ban utility shut offs and restore service to all households for the duration of the crisis.
  • Continue and expand eviction moratoriums for at least 6 months past the latest stay home order.

Take action here.


Contact Your Members of Congress and Tell Them to Address the Needs of Survivors in the Next Stimulus Package

Right now, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault are at great risk.

Act now to urge Congress to address the urgent and emerging needs of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors and the programs that serve them during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and resulting disruptions. 


Tell Congress: Protect the Food Chain During the Pandemic–Our Farmworkers are In Danger!

The farmworkers who grow, pick and pack the food that ends up on our grocery store shelves have been deemed “essential” workers during the coronavirus pandemic, but are vulnerable and need additional health and safety measures in place to protect them from being infected by, and spreading, the coronavirus. They need additional protections because many live in cramped employer-provided housing and are transported in buses to and from worksites every day.

Sign the petition to Congress to protect farmworkers and to ensure our food chain is not threatened during the pandemic.



Justice System

Action Items

Call on the Missouri Supreme Court to Prevent a COVID-19 Public Health Crisis in Jails by Releasing People

St. Louis County had two jail employees test positive last month for COVID-19 and the County said nothing. We still do not know whether any detainees have been tested. Join Women’s Voices in calling on the MO Supreme Court to act. Sign the petition here.

Arch City Defenders has created an on-line petition to the Missouri Supreme Court asking for the release of non-violent offenders.  You can review the petition and sign-on here.

Demand Mayor Krewson Close the Workhouse!

Now more than ever, it’s of the utmost importance that you call Mayor Krewson and tell her to Close the Workhouse. There are currently 112 inmates in the workhouse. Contact Mayor Krewson NOW at (314) 622-3201 to ask her how she can justify keeping the Workhouse open.

Demand Governors Free Our Youth Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Take action here.

Organizational Actions

Women’s Voices joins Statewide Organizations and Medical Professionals Call on the Missouri Supreme Court to Prevent a COVID-19 Public Health Crisis in Jails by Releasing People

Women’s Voices joins Organizations to Urge State Leaders to Accommodate Re-entry

Reproductive Rights

Action Items

Demand that the Food and Drug Administration Lift Restrictions on Medication Abortion

Every day the FDA does not act, people who need abortions and the clinic workers who care for them are risking their health — and lives — by increasing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Read more or sign petition to demand that FDA lift the restrictions on medication abortion now.

Voting Rights

Action Items

Urge MO Leaders to Act Now to Make Elections Safe, Accessible, Secure and Straightforward

Missouri has some of the most outdated election laws in the country — laws that are currently preventing us from meeting the challenge of the COVID19 crisis. We need:

1.     Early Voting

2.     No-excuse absentee voting to allow voters to cast their absentee ballots by mail

3.     Streamlined online and automatic voter registration

4.     Funding for our local election authorities

Sign petition here.


Tell Congress to Expand Voting Access During COVID-19

Congress must address COVID-19’s impact on the 2020 elections by passing a relief package that requires states to provide no-excuse absentee voting and expanded early voting. Send your message here.


Demand the Senate allocate more election funding!

ACT TODAY to demand that the Senate fully fund voting protections during the coronavirus crisis and beyond. Call 1-844-248-4061 OR text “CORONAVIRUS” to 21333 to get connected now!


Organizational Actions

Women’s Voices Signs On to Letter Specifying “Measures to Ensure Voting in Missouri Amid the COVID-19 Crisis.”


Tell Congress: During This Pandemic, Support Our Public Postal Service

The Postal Service could run out of money as early as June. As most Americans shelter in place, postal workers are delivering people’s prescriptions, keeping small-enterprises in business and connecting families. The USPS has always been our emergency distribution system when our country is in crisis. The loss of the USPS would shatter our response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Sign the petition to demand support for the USPS here.


Sign the petition: Demand all U.S. governors investigate Amazon warehouses that put public health at risk

Amazon has failed to issue a comprehensive plan to protect its growing workforce from coronavirus exposure, despite the unwise decision to operate as usual. As COVID-19 infections are found in Amazon warehouses, this puts all of us — workers, customers, small-business sellers, and neighbors — at risk.

Public officials must safeguard workers’ and public health, since Amazon is not taking necessary measures. Demand your governor step in and investigate Amazon for the sake of public safety.

Sign the petition to your governor: Close Amazon warehouses that fail to protect public health NOW.


Tell Congress: Local News is Critical in the Midst of a Pandemic

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, local news outlets have been providing indispensable, real-time updates on information imperative to safeguarding America’s communities. Yet, many outlets will not survive COVID-19 without immediate economic help.

As Congress considers future economic stimulus aid packages for impacted people and businesses, they must also provide a lifeline to local reporters and local media to ensure they continue providing their vital service to the American people.

Sign the petition to Congress to include funding for local news in the next stimulus package.




For more information or to get involved, e-mail