Last week, the White House kicked off Women’s History month with a report on the status of women in America. The report provides a statistical picture of women in America in five critical areas: demographic and family changes, education, employment, health, and crime and violence. By presenting a quantitative snapshot of the well-being of American women based on Federal data, the report greatly enhances our understanding both of how far American women have come and the areas where there is still work to be done.
I found some of the findings in this study fascinating and I hope you do too.
Women at Work In America: How Are We Doing?
- Both women and men are marrying about five years later on average than they did in 1950.
- Women are giving birth to their first child at older ages.
- Women’s gains in educational attainment have significantly outpaced those of men over the last 40 years.
- Female students score higher than males on reading assessments and lower than males on mathematics assessments.
- More women than men have received a graduate education.
- 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 master’s degree.
- Unemployment rates for women have risen less than for men in recent recessions.
- Women and men continue to work in different occupations. While women are three times more likely to work in administrative support jobs than men, relatively few women have construction, production, or transportation jobs.
- Women are more likely than men to do volunteer work.
- Education pays for both women and men, but the pay gap persists.
- At all levels of education, women earned about 75 percent of what their male counterparts earned in 2009.
- Women have longer life expectancy than men, but the gap is decreasing.
- More than one-third of all women age 20 and older are obese.
- Less than half of all women meet the Federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic activity.
Crime and Violence:
- Homicides of females declined between 1993 and 2008.
- Reported rape rates declined during the 1990s and have remained stable in recent years.
- The imprisonment rate for females quadrupled between 1985 and 2008.