Advancing Gender Equity in San Diego

Kim Sontag-Mulder NOW
Kim Sontag-Mulder (second-from-right) takes a photo with other members of the local chapter of NOW, National Organization for Women.

Gender equity is a topic that impacts us all, in every aspect of our daily lives, whether that’s in our homes, our workplaces or everyday conversations.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, nearly half of all women have experienced some form of gender discrimination at work, and a majority of citizens say the U.S. hasn’t gone far enough when it comes to giving equal rights to women.

Couple that data with the disparities in areas such as workplace compensation and leadership representation, and it’s clear to see why gender equity remains an important challenge in San Diego and across the nation.

Lack of access and opportunity does not solely affect those who are disadvantaged.

Society is stronger when all individuals have equal access to education, health care, careers and representation in political and economic decision-making.

Strengthening Equity

On January 15, gender equity was the focus of the latest Community Heroes event, hosted in partnership with KPBS and the National Conflict Resolution Center, and sponsored by The San Diego Foundation Center for Civic Engagement.

At the event, Kim Sontag-Mulder, who is credited with resurrecting the San Diego chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), was honored as the KPBS Community Hero for her lifelong commitment to gender equity and opportunity for all.

As Kim explained at the Community Heroes event, she first learned about gender equity early on thanks to her mother who demonstrated what it means to be a strong, determined woman.

Today, those early teachings have translated into an ongoing commitment to women’s rights.

Kim is the current co-president of NOW’s local chapter, vice president of programs on the executive committee of California NOW, and is the local chapter’s state board representative. Additionally, she helped organize the 2017 Women’s March in San Diego, which turned out more than 30,000 people downtown.

“Our goal is to be that go-to organization for women and girls to come and find their voice,” shared Kim.

NOW is known as the grassroots arm of the women’s movement and is dedicated to a multi-issue and multi-strategy approach to women’s rights.

With hundreds of chapters nationwide, the goal of the organization is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political and economic life.

Join the Conversation

Gender equity is a necessary foundation for any strong and inclusive community, and Kim is one of the many San Diego leaders creating a more inclusive region by fighting for gender equity in different facets of society.

You can continue the conversation and help empower more women and girls in San Diego by by attending the February 2 Community Restorative Circle workshop hosted by the National Conflict Resolution Center. The topic of the workshop is Gender Equity.

Attend the Workshop