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Ms. Foundation for Women Releases Report on Status of U.S. Women on International Women’s Day

Report Proposes Solutions to Inequality in Economic Justice, Reproductive Justice and Safety

NEW YORKMarch 8, 2013—The Ms. Foundation for Women released a benchmarking report on the status of U.S. women, which proposes critical policy changes to help women overcome inequality in the areas of economic justice, reproductive justice and safety. Given the projected population growth of people of color and immigrants, the report gives particular attention to the specific concerns of women in those groups.

“The United States ranks an abysmal 47th in gender equality among the world’s nations,” said Ms. Foundation President and CEO Anika Rahman. “This International Women’s Day, we’re challenging U.S. leaders to eliminate structural discrimination and create equal opportunities for all women.”

“More to Do: The Road to Equality for Women in the United States” concludes that:

  • Women are marginalized in the economy, consistently relegated to the lowest-paying sectors, which are further stratified by race; 
  • Control over women’s bodies and access to health care, particularly for women of color and low-income women, is being legislated primarily by men, with a dangerous narrowing of health options for all women; and 
  • Violence still tops the list of concerns for women at every age, with an increasingly evident pattern that begins with the sexual abuse of children.

The report suggests policy recommendations that address the root causes of inequality. Solutions like increased public funding for child care and early education, improved access to non-traditional jobs and an increased minimum wage would benefit women, who are disproportionately affected by unaffordable child care and lack of opportunities and who remain concentrated in low-wage jobs.

The dramatic inequities in access to health care can be largely addressed through full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, repeal of the Medicaid waiting period for immigrants and an end to the total exclusion from non-emergency health care for undocumented immigrants. Removal of legislative barriers to reproductive health care services, including abortion, remains a priority.

To eliminate violence against women, the report advocates such policy changes as the establishment of national standards for child sexual abuse prevention for youth-serving organizations and increased resources to female service members who experience military sexual trauma.

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The Ms. Foundation for Women fights to eliminate barriers for every woman in the U.S. For40 years, we have worked tirelessly to secure women’s rights and freedoms with a special commitment to building the power of low-income, immigrant and women of color. At our core, we are advocates giving a voice to women to elevate their most pressing issues. We’re continually investing funds, time, expertise and training in more than 100 trailblazing organizations nationwide to secure a better future for ourselves, our families and our communities.

There is more to do. Join the conversation or make a donation at forwomen.org.

Media Contact:

Christie Petrone

Christie Petrone:
Senior Manager, Public Relations
(212) 709 4422
cpetrone@ms.foundation.org