The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota released today its 2010 research report on the status of women and girls in Minnesota. The news is not uplifting.
According to the report, women are shortchanged in four critical areas — economics, safety, health and leadership. And, while all women and girls in Minnesota suffer inequalities, even greater disparities exist for women of color, rural women and older women in Minnesota.
Here are just a few of the findings:
- Economics: Because of the gender wage gap, a Minnesota woman (and her family) earns an average of $11,000 less per year, or $1 million less over a lifetime. White, African American and Latina women earn 76, 61, and 56 cents on the dollar, respectively, compared to white men.
- Safety: By mid-life, one-third of Minnesota women have experienced a rape crime. Violence at home is the second leading cause of homelessness among Minnesota women.
- Health: Native American women in Minnesota are 10% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than their white counterparts, but 58% more likely to die from it. While African-American women are 8% less likely than white women to get cancer, they are 15% more likely to die from the disease.
- Leadership: Only 34% of Minnesota state legislators are women, and the number of women candidates is declining. No women lead any of the Fortune 500 companies in the state.
What Can You Do?
The full report, “Status of Women & Girls in Minnesota,” contains much more detail, including “What You Can Do In 30 Minutes or Less” recommendations for individuals to take action to address inequities.
In releasing the report today, Lee Roper-Batker, president and CEO of the foundation, encouraged women, girls and all community members to use the findings to jump-start social change. She emphasized: ”Research without action is pointless.”
Next week Women’s Foundation staff members will launch the 2010 “Road to Equality Tour,” sharing the research and obtaining community input in Warroad, Moorhead, Grand Rapids, Duluth, Willmar, St. Cloud and Rochester.
Research and writing for the report was conducted by the University of MN Humphrey Institute’s Center on Women & Public Partnership. More than 100 experts from academia, government, nonprofit and private sectors, elected bodies and philanthropy participated in working groups to review data, identify key issues and proffer solutions.