March celebrates Women’s History Month, and what a great way to ring it in than with the release of the White House‘s first comprehensive report on Women in America since 1963, when Eleanor Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy had released the first report ever on the conditions of women at that time. Follow this link to Women in America to read today’s updated version. This report examines how the lives of women have changed in the past fifty years in terms of five factors: families and income; education; employment; health; and crime and violence.
Here are some highlights from the report, quoted from the White House’s Press Release:
•Women have not only caught up with men in college attendance but younger women are now more likely than younger men to have a college or a graduate degree. Women are also working more and the number of women and men in the labor force has nearly equalized in recent years. As women’s work has increased, their earnings constitute a growing share of family income.
•Gains in education and labor force involvement have not yet translated into wage and income equity. At all levels of education, women earned about 75 percent of what their male counterparts earned in 2009. In part because of these lower earnings and in part because unmarried and divorced women are the most likely to have responsibility for raising and supporting their children, women are more likely to be in poverty than men. These economic inequities are even more acute for women of color.
•Women live longer than men but are more likely to face certain health problems, such as mobility impairments, arthritis, asthma, depression, and obesity. Women also engage in lower levels of physical activity. Women are less likely than men to suffer from heart disease or diabetes. One out of seven women age 18-64 has no usual source of health care. The share of women in that age range without health insurance has also increased.
•Women are less likely than in the past to be the target of violent crimes, including homicide. But women are victims of certain crimes, such as intimate partner violence and stalking, at higher rates than men.
My note: I wonder if the last point is meant to appease us, because violence against women has never been as high as it is. And it is not just domestic if you keep into account daily rapes, and sex-trafficking that takes place on our back yards — here in the US. Women have become more independent since the last report in 1963, but women are still considered to be a minority compared to men. They are not taken seriously, they’re being mocked ( examples include how Palin, Clinton, and other political figures are treated by the media), and very few females represent top positions, either in the government or in large corporations. More strident strides need to be made to appease this writer/woman/mother/thinker.
What about you? Are you pleased with this report’s results? Or would you like to see more progress on the side of women?
- WH Report: Women Gaining, but Still Lag on Wages (foxnews.com)
- Kate Kelly: Women’s History Month: Female Firsts (huffingtonpost.com)
- International Women’s Day 2011 (csirobargaining2011.org)