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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Report Presents Mixed|News for Nation’s Women

WASHINGTON (CN) - President Obama announced the release of a report by the Commerce Department and the Office of Management and Budget called "Women in America," which details the indicators of social and economic well being among American women.

The report covers five major areas of women's lives including: people, families and income; education; employment; crime and violence; and health. Each subject area lists six to 10 key statistics.

Important findings of the report include that women are more likely than men to live in poverty even though they have suffered less unemployment through the last recession, and that their gains in education have outpaced those of men over the last 40 years.

According to the report, the pay gap between men and women persists at all levels of education though their earnings have risen by 31 percent since 1979 compared to just a 2 percent rise in men's earnings since that time.

Though the labor force participation rates of men and women are approaching parity, nearly one-fifth of all women were employed in just five occupations traditionally held by women: secretaries, nurses, elementary school teachers, cashiers and nursing aides, the report said.

At home, women and men seem to be adhering to traditional roles as well, with 87 percent of married women saying they engaged in household activities such as cleaning and food preparation, and 65 percent of married men saying they do housework every day, mostly work such as lawn care and home maintenance.

Obama said that one of the problems in preparing the report was that there are significant gaps in the statistical data available to researchers. Accordingly, he asked the heads of all federal agencies to collect data on areas such as the participation of women in positions of corporate and non-profit leadership, and maternal mortality.

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