Happy International Women’s Day

March 8, 2011 | By Liza Casabona | Post a Comment

A recent article I read pointed out what perhaps should have been an obvious conclusion: the economic recession and the subsequent recovery were—and are—impacting women differently from men. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to social and economic impact.

Today is the 100-year anniversary of International Women’s Day, which celebrates the political, social and economic achievements of women. It also happens to be Women’s History Month.

The status of women in the U.S. has improved in the last century, but according to a new report compiled by the White House there are still many areas in which women are lagging behind. Wage inequities, higher poverty rates and some important health challenges still impact women’s status in the U.S., the report found.

According to “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being,” which is the first comprehensive federal report since the 1960s to pull so much data about women into one place, women today are more likely than men to be living in poverty. Factors behind that include women’s lower wages—we still earn approximately 75 percent of what equivalent male employees make—and the fact that women are more likely than men to be raising and supporting their children. Single-mother households face particularly high poverty rates and women of color face greater economic inequity than white women, the report said.

Women continue to outlive men on average, but they are also more susceptible to a host of health problems including obesity, mobility problems, asthma, arthritis and depression. On the other hand, women are less likely than men to suffer from diabetes or heart disease.

Much of the data contained in the report can be found elsewhere, but the federal government hasn’t pulled this much info about women together into one source in more than four decades. The uses for such a treasure trove of data in today’s highly competitive funding climate are almost limitless.  How would you put the government’s report to good use in your grant-related activities?

Subscribers to Local/State Funding Report can look for more data from the “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being” report in an upcoming issue.


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