The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) released tits 2009 edition of "The Status of Women and Girls in Vermont" report last week. The survey found an upsurge in requests by women for shelter and assistance.
"This is our annual report of how women and girls are doing in our state," said Wendy Love, VCW Executive Director. "It highlights some bedrock issues, like the gender wage gap, which in Vermont is 81.5 percent. The report also looks at other, more narrowly focused issues, like women in farming. I think the overall message is, we've come a long way, but there is still work to do."
Love continued by highlighting other topics included in this year's report, "given the state of the economy this year, everyone is interested in economic security issues: for instance, the link between education and earnings. There is also interest in women in leadership and public life. For the first time we looked at the probability of women who ran for public office winning. The report also highlights women on select boards, and state boards and commissions."
Love continued, "the report's health, safety and civil rights section highlights results from the statewide survey of Vermont girls, a project partnering VCW and the girl scouts. One upbeat survey finding was the influence of mothers as role models and shapers of girl's positive self-image. This section of the report also includes domestic violence facts and figures, most notably the upsurge in requests for shelter and assistance. Unfortunately, women now lead men in the number of new lung cancers being diagnosed in the 25-44 age category."
Love concludes, "the commission uses these facts and figures to consider education efforts and public policy improvements for Vermont women and families. It's our hope that this report fuels dialogue, encourages positive change, inspires effective partnerships, and assists efforts to improve the lives of Vermonters."