Women for Women & MAHEC Host Public Rollout of Status of Women Report 2012

The 2012 Status of Women Report, conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, is available to the public this month.  


The report, funded by the NC Council on Women and Wells Fargo, includes state-wide research focused on metropolitan areas; the Women for Women giving circle at The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), Department of OB-GYN, added funds to ensure a comprehensive look at the rural counties in Western North Carolina. 


The public rollout of the report will take place at the MAHEC Women’s Care Center, 119 Hendersonville Road in Asheville, on Thursday, October 11, 2012, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and will feature Dr. Cynthia Hess, who has worked for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research since 2007.


Dr. Hess served as study director for the Women’s Public Vision Project, which analyzes the public visions of women activists and explores how these visions provide the basis for transformative approaches to U.S. policymaking.  Dr. Hess currently directs the Institute’s research on the roles of religious congregations and nonprofit organizations in advancing the rights and general well-being of Latina immigrants in Atlanta, Phoenix and Northern Virginia.  She received her M.Div. and Ph.D. from Yale University and her A.B. from Davidson College.  


The research compiles data regarding the status of women in North Carolina relating to education and job training, economic autonomy, financial education and health.  These are priority issues for Women for Women and the focus of the giving circle’s grant program and advocacy efforts.
“This study reflects where we are in our giving today and where we need to continue focusing our efforts,” said Jennie Eblen, Women for Women Chair.  “Working from local, current data reinforces our work and mission.  We hope it will encourage more women to join our giving circle and positively impact the lives of women and girls.”


Governor Bev Perdue announced that preliminary findings of the Report indicate that women in North Carolina have made significant social and economic advances since 2000, but the need for further progress remains.  “Many North Carolina women have experienced life-changing benefits as a result of our state’s emphasis on improving educational opportunities, including those that provide job-ready skills,” Gov. Perdue said. “It is clear, however, that too many North Carolina women remain vulnerable to economic insecurity caused by unemployment, a persistent wage gap, poverty and the high cost of child care.”


Since the last Status of Women Report was issued in 1996, North Carolina’s women have achieved higher levels of education than men; 59 percent of women are in the work force and own 28 percent of the state’s businesses. However, they continue to be paid less than male counterparts.  Additionally, while 66 percent of women with children under age 5 are in the work force, the cost of child care remains more expensive than the average annual tuition and fees for a public four-year college in North Carolina.


The Women for Women giving circle is an initiative of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.  Its mission is to improve the lives of women and girls through women’s collective giving. Since 2006, the Women for Women grant program has distributed $1.75 million to support programs benefitting women and girls.  The giving circle is always accepting new members.  For more information about membership or applying for a grant, call 828-254-4960 or visit www.cfwnc.org.

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker