BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

White House Council on Women and Girls Releases New Report

Posted by egehl on March 2, 2011

Yesterday the White House Council on Women and Girls held a conference call to discuss a report entitled Women in America  prepared for them by the Office of Management and Budget and the Economics and Statistics Administration within the Department of Commerce. 

This comprehensive report pulls together information from across the Federal statistical agencies to compile baseline information on how women are faring in the United States today and how these trends have changed over time.  The report provides a statistical portrait showing how women’s lives are evolving in five critical areas: People, Families, and Income; Education; Employment; Health; and Crime, Violence, and Criminal Justice. 

BPW Foundation was interested in learning about all of these areas, especially how the data pertains to women veterans.

Overall the report gives mixed news for women.  It shows that young women now are more likely than young men to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and the numbers of women and men in the labor force are almost equal.  Yet wages and income for women remain inequitable.  At all levels of education, women earned about 75 percent of what their male counterparts earned in 2009.  Among the health findings, women still live longer than men, but the gap is closing as women are more likely to face certain health problems, such as mobility impairment, arthritis, asthma, depression and obesity.

This report gives a significant overview of women’s lives today.  The facts help paint a picture of how women are changing over time and the current challenges they are facing.  It is important that as a country we gain a better understanding of women’s social, health and economic well-being so that public policies can be reflective of these needs and changes.  Moving forward this report will be a useful tool in helping stakeholders with a vested interest in women make more sound decisions. 

To see the full report visit the White House Council on Women and Girls website

Here are some of the interesting statistics included in the report about all women, including women veterans:

  • Women are marrying later and have fewer children than in the past.
  • Although more adult women live in married-couple families than in any other living arrangement, an ever-growing number of women are raising children without a spouse. 
  • More women are remaining childless, although eight out of ten adult women have children.
  • Because women live longer, women continue to outnumber men at older ages. 
  • Women are more likely to live in poverty than are adult men.
  • Women’s gains in educational attainment have significantly outpaced those of men over the last 40 years.  Today, younger women are more likely to graduate from college than are men and are more likely to hold a graduate school degree.  Higher percentages of women than men have at least a high school education, and higher percentages of women than men participate in adult education.
  • Female students are less well represented than men in science and technology-related fields, which typically lead to higher paying occupations.
  • The participation of women in the workforce rose dramatically through the mid-1990s, but has been relatively constant since then. 
  • Despite their gains in labor market experience and in education, women still earn less than men. 
  • Because women earn less and because two-earner households have higher earnings, families headed by women have far less income than do married-couple families.
  • Women are disproportionately more likely than men to be affected by certain critical health problems, including mobility impairments, chronic health conditions such as asthma, arthritis, or depression.  Women are less likely to be physically active and are more likely to be obese.
  • Women generally use the health care system and preventive care more than men, but many women still do not receive recommended preventive care such as pap smears or flu vaccinations.
  • Attacks on women by their intimate partners have fallen since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, although women are still much more likely to be victimized and injured by this type of violence than are men.  
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