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The Status of Women and Girls

About the Status of Women and Girls

IWPR’s “Status of Women” reports are a unique source of comprehensive information on women. IWPR has analyzed data on a wide range of indicators at the local, state, national, and international levels, including demographics, economic security, educational attainment, reproductive rights, political participation, civic engagement, and access to health care and work supports. To date, IWPR has released reports on each U.S. state and the District of Columbia, in addition to several city/area reports, and a series of reports and a toolkit on Women in the Middle East and North Africa. Each report offers policy recommendations shaped by the research findings for that state or city/area. Recent state-level reports include The Status of Women & Girls in Colorado, The Status of Women in North Carolina, The Status of Women & Girls in West Virginia, and the 2010 Portrait of Women & Girls in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Resources

www.statusofwomendata.org
2012 Status of Women Data

State and Local Reports

The Status of Women in Your County: A Community Research Tool

Status of Women in the States
Status of Women in the Middle East and North Africa

Visit our external resources page for links to more information on this topic.

To see our experts on this and other initiatives, click here.

Latest Reports from IWPR

The Status of Women in the States: 2015 (full report)
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2015)

The Status of Women in the States: 2015 provides critical data to identify areas of progress for women in states across the nation and pinpoint where additional improvements are still needed. It presents hundreds of data points for each state across seven areas that affect women’s lives: political participation, employment and earnings, work and family, poverty and opportunity, reproductive rights, health and well-being, and violence and safety. For each of these topic areas except violence and safety, the report calculates a composite index, ranks the states from best to worst, and assigns a letter grade based on the difference between the state’s performance in that area and goals set by IWPR (e.g., no remaining wage gap or the proportional representation of women in political office). The report also tracks progress over time, covers basic demographic statistics on women, and presents additional data on a range of topics related to women’s status. In addition, it gives an overview of how women from various population groups fare, including women of color, young women, older women, immigrant women, women living with a same-sex partner, and women in labor unions. This report builds on IWPR’s long-standing work on The Status of Women in the States, a series of data analyses and reports that for nearly 20 years have provided data on women’s status nationally and for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Status of Women in the States reports have three main goals: 1) to analyze and disseminate information about women’s progress in achieving rights and opportunities; 2) to identify and measure the remaining barriers to equality; and 3) to provide baseline measures for monitoring women’s progress. The data presented in these reports can serve as a resource for advocates, policymakers, and other stakeholders who seek to develop community investments, programs, and public policies that can lead to positive changes for women and families.

 

The Status of Women in the States: 2015—Health & Safety
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2015)

This report provides data on women’s health status in the U nited States, beginning with a composite index of women’s health that includes nine indicators covering chronic d isease, sexual health, mental health, and physical health. It analyzes data on additional aspects of women’s health, including behavioral measures such as smoking, exercise, and diet, and preventive health care measures such as mammograms, pap tests, and screenings for HIV . In addition, the report examines how women’s health status has improved or declined in these areas in recent years. It also notes places where women’s health status varies by race/ethnicity and age and examines the health status of thos e who identify as a sexual minority .

 

The Status of Women in the States: 2015—Reproductive Rights
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2015)

This report provides information on a range of policies related to women’s reproductive health and rights. It examines abortion, contraception, the access of individuals in same-sex couples to full parental rights, infertility, and sex education. It also presents data on fertility and natality—including infant mortality—and highlights disparities in women’s reproductive rights by race and ethnicity. In addition, the report examines recent shifts in federal and state policies related to reproductive rights. It explores the decision of some states to expand Medicaid coverage under the ACA, as well as state policies to extend eligibility for Medicaid family planning services. It also reviews the recognition of same-sex marriage in a growing majority of states across the nation (National Center for Lesbian Rights 2015)—a change that has profound implications for the ability of same-sex couples to create the families they desire.

 

The Status of Women in the States: 2015 — Poverty & Opportunity
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (April 2015)

This report is a part of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s series, The Status of Women in the States: 2015, which uses data from U.S. government and other sources to analyze women’s status in each state and the United States overall, to rank and grade states on a set of indicators for six topical areas, and to provide additional data on women’s social, economic, health, and political status in states across the nation. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has published reports on the status of women in states and localities throughout the United States since 1996 covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The reports have been used to highlight women’s progress and the obstacles they continue to face and to encourage policy and programmatic changes that can improve women’s opportunities. Created in partnership with expert advisors, the reports have helped state and local partners educate the public on issues related to women’s well-being, inform policies and programs, make the case for establishing commissions for women, establish investment priorities, and inspire community efforts to strengthen area economies by increasing the participation of women and improving women's status.

 

The Status of Women in the States: 2015 — Employment and Earnings
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (March 2015)

Women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, and their earnings are essential to the economic security of families across the nation. Yet, gender equality at work remains elusive. Women who work full-time, year-round still earn only 78 cents on the dollar compared with men, and during the last decade little improvement has been made in closing the gender wage gap (DeNavas-Walt and Proctor 2014). The glass ceiling persists, and occupational segregation—the concentration of women in some jobs and men in others—remains a stubborn feature of the U.S. labor market (Hegewisch et al. 2010). These national trends show up in states across the nation. This report examines women’s earnings and the gender wage gap, women’s labor force participation, and the occupations and industries in which women work. It also considers areas where women have experienced progress toward gender equity in the workforce and places where progress has slowed or stalled.

 

The Status of Women in Washington: Forging Pathways to Leadership and Economic Opportunity
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D. and Jessica Milli, Ph.D. (March 2015)

This report provides critical data and analyzes areas of progress for women in Washington, as well as places where progress has slowed or stalled. It examines key indicators of women’s status in several topical areas: employment and earnings, economic security and poverty, and political participation. The data presented on these topics can serve as a resource for advocates, community leaders, policymakers, funders, and other stakeholders who are working to create public policies and programs that enable women in Washington to achieve their full potential. Key findings in the report include the following:

 

Toward Our Children’s Keeper: A Data-Driven Analysis of the Interim Report of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative Shows the Shared Fate of Boys and Girls of Color
by Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D; Chandra Childers, Ph.D; and Elyse Shaw, MA; with Bianca Sacco-Calderone and Sheya Jabouin (February 2015)

This report was commissioned by the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) as part of a series highlighting issues confronting women and girls of color. This report uses information and data provided by the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force interim report (MBK90) and website in addition to other scholarly research to analyze the validity of the male-centric framework of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative and to provide information about the status of women and girls of color, comparing their situation with that of men and boys of color as well as with white females and males.

 
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The Status of Women in Connecticut's Workforce
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D. (November 2014)

Women in Connecticut have made significant advances in the workforce in recent years but continue to face persistent disparities and inequities that often prevent them from reaching their full potential. Women’s labor force participation has increased over the last two decades, the gender wage gap has narrowed, and women are more likely than in the past to work in managerial or professional occupations. At the same time, many women in Connecticut experience a persistent gender wage gap, limited access to affordable child care, and low levels of education. In addition, women in the state face stark disparities in opportunities and access to resources across racial and ethnic groups and geographic locations. Addressing such challenges and disparities is essential to the continued advance- ment of women and to the well-being of Connecticut as a whole.

 

Washington, DC, Ranks Highest for Women's Employment and Earnings; West Virginia Ranks Lowest
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (September 2014)

States across the nation vary considerably in their progress toward women’s employment and earnings equity. On the Institute for Women’s Policy Research 2014 composite index on employment and earnings—which includes four key indicators of women’s status in the workforce—the District of Columbia ranks first in the nation and West Virginia ranks last. *Correction: An earlier version of this Quick Figures had the composite score for Maryland incorrectly listed as 4.40. With the change to 4.65, Maryland ranks second in the nation on the composite index, followed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey. The previous rankings had Massachusetts listed as second, Connecticut as third, New Jersey as fourth, and Maryland as fifth.

 

The Well-Being of Women in Utah: An Overview
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D. and Claudia Williams (May 2014)

This briefing paper provides an overview of how women in Utah fare in key dimensions of their lives: earnings, education, and economic security; physical and emotional health and safety; and political leadership and participation. While it lies beyond the scope of the paper to address other key aspects of women’s overall well-being—such as faith and spirituality, family and friendships, civic and community involvement, and sports and fitness—the data provided here identify important areas of progress and challenges for Utah women and suggest policy directions that would benefit the state as a whole.

 

Spring/Summer 2013 Newsletter-25th Anniversary Edition
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (August 2013)

This special 25th Anniversary edition of the newsletter presents a review of IWPR's policy research since our founding in 1987.

 
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The Status of Women in Eastern North Carolina
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D. and Claudia Williams (August 2013)

Women in Eastern North Carolina, and in North Carolina as a whole, have made significant progress during the last few decades, but more remains to be done to elevate women’s status. The majority of women participate in the labor force—often in professional or managerial jobs—and make important contributions to the economic health of their communities. Yet, in some ways women’s status still lags behind men’s, and not all women are prospering equally. This briefing paper provides basic information about the status of women in Eastern North Carolina, focusing on women’s earnings and workforce participation, level of education, poverty, access to child care, and health status. It also provides basic demographic information about women in this area.

 
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The Status of Women in Robeson County, North Carolina
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D. and Claudia Williams (August 2013)

Women in Robeson County, North Carolina, and in North Carolina as a whole, have made significant progress during the last few decades, but more remains to be done to elevate women’s status. Women make important contributions to the economic health of their communities—nearly half of women in Robeson County are in the labor force—but women’s status overall still lags behind men’s, and not all women are prospering equally. This briefing paper provides basic information about the status of women in Robeson County, focusing on women’s earnings and workforce participation, level of education, poverty, access to child care, and health status. It also provides basic demographic information about women in this area.

 

The Status of Women and Girls in Colorado
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D., Ariane Hegewisch, Youngmin Yi, Claudia Williams, and Justine Augeri (June 2013)

This report provides critical data and analyzes areas of progress for women and girls in Colorado as well as places where progress has slowed or stalled. It examines a range of interconnected issues affecting the lives of women and girls in Colorado, including economic security and poverty, employment and earnings, educational opportunity, personal safety, and women’s leadership. In addition to discussing the current status of women and girls, the report tracks progress over the last two decades by comparing findings with those from earlier status of women reports by The Women’s Foundation of Colorado and Girls Count (1994) and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (2000). The 2013 Status of Women and Girls in Colorado report also analyzes how the circumstances of women and girls differ across Colorado’s regions and how women and girls in the state fare compared with their counterparts in the nation as a whole.

 

Enhancing the Status of Women: How Engaging Women in Leadership Creates a More Inclusive Democracy and Improves Women’s Lives
by Elyse Shaw, Drew McCormick, Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., and Barbara Gault, Ph.D. (May 2013)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has been at the forefront of research on issues and policies that affect women’s continued participation and leadership in society and politics. Through its analysis of the issues of greatest importance to women in society, IWPR has greatly contributed to social and policy changes. The research done by IWPR in the area of democracy and society across the years has shown the ways in which American society benefits from the advancement of women in leadership positions and women’s increased civic and political engagement. IWPR’s research also highlights policy changes that would help women achieve greater equity. IWPR continues to work both internationally and domestically to provide relevant data on issues of importance to women’s lives and has disseminated its research through various conferences to ensure that advocates and policymakers alike have the tools to enable them to participate in making policy changes that benefit women and their families.

 

The Status of Women in North Carolina
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D., Ariane Hegewisch, Youngmin Yi, Claudia Williams (March 2013)

This report provides critical data to identify both areas of progress for women in North Carolina and places where additional improvements are still needed. The report analyzes issues that profoundly affect the lives of women in North Carolina, including employment, earnings, and education; economic security and poverty; health and well-being; and political participation. The report also tracks women’s progress in North Carolina over the last two decades (1990–2010) by comparing its findings with those from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s 1996 report, The Status of Women in North Carolina (IWPR 1996). In addition, the report examines the social and economic status of women in different regions of the state as well as in the nation as a whole. The data on women’s status that it presents can serve as a resource for advocates, community leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders who seek to develop community investments, program initiatives, and public policies that will lead to positive change for women in the state of North Carolina and nationwide.

 

The Status of Women and Girls in West Virginia
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D., Ariane Hegewisch, and Claudia Williams (March 2013)

This report provides comprehensive data to assess the progress of women and girls in West Virginia and identify places where additional improvements are still needed. The report analyzes issues that profoundly affect the lives of women and girls in the state, including employment, earnings, and education; economic security and poverty; and health and well-being. The report also tracks trends in progress in West Virginia (between 2000 and 2010) by comparing its findings with the 2002 report, The Status of Women in West Virginia (IWPR 2002). In addition, the report examines the status of women and girls in five regions of the state (Northern Panhandle, North Central, Eastern Panhandle, South Central, and Southern) as well as in the nation as a whole. The data on women’s and girls’ status that it presents can serve as a resource for advocates, community leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders who seek to develop community investments, program initiatives, and public policies that will lead to positive change for women and girls in West Virginia and the nation as a whole.

 

The Status of Women in Cumberland County, North Carolina
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D. and Claudia Williams (February 2013)

Women in Cumberland County, and in North Carolina as a whole, have made significant progress during the last few decades, but more remains to be done to elevate women’s status. The majority of women work—many in professional and managerial jobs—and women make important contributions to the economic health of their communities. Yet, in some ways women’s status still lags behind men’s, and not all women are prospering equally. This briefing paper provides basic information about the status of women in Cumberland County, focusing on women’s earnings and workforce participation, level of education, poverty, access to child care, and health status. It also provides basic demographic information about women in this area.

 

The Status of Women in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area, North Carolina
by Cynthia Hess, P.D., Rhiana Gunn-Wright, and Youngmin Y (January 2013)

Women in the Charlotte metropolitan area, and in North Carolina as a whole, have made much progress during the last few decades. The majority of women work—many in professional jobs—and women are essential to the economic health of their communities. Yet, there are some ways in which women’s status still lags behind men’s, and not all women are prospering equally. This fact sheet provides basic information about the status of women the Charlotte area, focusing on women’s earnings and workforce participation, level of education, poverty, access to childcare, and health status. It also provides background demographic information about women in the region.

 

The Status of Women in Western North Carolina
by Ariane Hegewisch, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, and Claudia Williams (January 2013)

Women in Western North Carolina, as in North Carolina as a whole, have made much progress during the last few decades. The majority of women work—many in professional and managerial jobs—and women are a mainstay of the economic health of their communities. Yet, there are some ways in which women’s status still lags behind men’s, and not all women are prospering equally. This briefing paper provides basic information about the status of women in Western North Carolina—including Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties—focusing on women’s earnings and workforce participation, level of education, poverty, access to child care, and health status. It also provides background demographic information about women in the region.

 
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