Women Still Face Persistent Barriers to Well Being By Gloria Yost
At our November Branch meeting Kristen Schumacher and Sarah Jimenez, from the California Budget & Policy Center, guided us through the California Women’s Well Being Index as they shared data about the status of women’s health care, personal safety, employment opportunities, economic security, and political involvement.
In general women in the northern half of the state were better off than those to the south. The Bay area and Placer county were better off overall, while the San Joaquin Valley, Inland Empire and California’s rural northern counties struggle more than other parts of the state. It was interesting to learn that Sacramento county is right in the middle of index rankings overall, but lacking in some areas, especially personal safety (in local neighborhoods) and economic security (poverty, childcare and commute times). Sacramento County also ranked 39th among the state’s 58 counties in terms of women’s political representation. Our highest ranking was in employment – our unemployment rate was low compared to most other counties.
Our own Arlene Cullum showed us how our AAAUW’s public policy priorities aligned with the Well-Being Index. It was a most interesting and informative morning.