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Acting Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank Discusses New Women in America Report at Center for American Progress

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Acting Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank Speaking at the Center for American Progress on White House "Women in America" Report

Acting Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank joined Tina Tchen, executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls; Preeta Bansal, senior policy advisor and general counsel of the Office of Management and Budget; and a panel of experts at the Center for American Progress today to discuss the findings of a new White House report, “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being.” The discussion focused on women’s present role in families, education, employment, health, and crime in American Society.

In support of the Council on Women and Girls, the Office of Management and Budget and the Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration worked together to create the report, which was released on the first day of Women’s History Month. 

Among the report’s key findings (PDF):

  • As the report shows, women have made enormous progress on some fronts. 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. Women are also working more and the number of women and men in the labor force has nearly equalized in recent years. As women’s work has increased, their earnings constitute a growing share of family income.
  • Yet, these gains in education and labor force involvement have not yet translated into wage and income equity. At all levels of education, women earned about 75 percent of what their male counterparts earned in 2009. In part because of these lower earnings and in part becauseunmarried and divorced women are the most likely to have responsibility for raising and supporting their children, women are more likely to be in poverty than men. These economic inequities are even more acute for women of color.
  • Women live longer than men but are more likely to face certain health problems, such as mobility impairments, arthritis, asthma, depression, and obesity. Women also engage in lower levels of physical activity. Women are less likely than men to suffer from heart disease or diabetes. Many women do not receive specific recommended preventative care, and one out of seven women age 18-64 has no usual source of health care. The share of women in that age range without health insurance has also increased.
  • Women are less likely than in the past to be the target of violent crimes, including homicide. But women are victims of certain crimes, such as intimate partner violence and stalking, at higher rates than men.

Today, the President also issued a Presidential Memorandum in conjunction with the report on the enhanced collection of relevant data and statistics relating to women.

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