From: Mountain Xpress

Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that preliminary findings of the 2012
Status of Women in North Carolina report indicate that women in North
Carolina have made significant social and economic advances since 2000,
but the need for further progress remains. The report is being prepared
by the independent Institute for Women’s Policy Research on behalf of
the N.C. Council for Women in the N.C. Department of Administration.

“Many North Carolina women have experienced life-changing benefits as a
result of our state’s emphasis on improving educational opportunities,
including those that provide job-ready skills,” Gov. Perdue said. “It is
clear, however, that too many North Carolina women remain vulnerable to
economic insecurity caused by unemployment, a persistent wage gap,
poverty and the high cost of child care.”

In tandem with the release of early data, Gov. Perdue has declared
Saturday as Women’s Equality Day in North Carolina in recognition of the
92nd anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which gave women
the right to vote. She encourages women to celebrate the occasion by
registering to vote and speaking to policymakers about the needs of
their communities. The proclamation is posted at
http://www.governor.state.nc.us/NewsItems/ProclamationList.aspx.

“Engagement in social and economic progress is essential to the ongoing
success of North Carolina women, particularly those of different races
and ethnic groups as well as among women from various geographic areas
within the state,” said Beth Briggs, Executive Director of the N.C.
Council for Women. “By working together to address these challenges and
disparities, we will further enhance the well-being and vibrancy of our
state.”

The full Status of Women in North Carolina report is scheduled for
October release. A preliminary fact sheet, Key Findings on the Economic
Status of Women in North Carolina, identifies both progress and
continued challenges for women in relation to unemployment; education,
earnings, and the gender wage gap; and economic security and poverty.
The fact sheet can be found online at
http://www.councilforwomen.nc.gov/documents/publications/NCWomenFactSheet.pdf

Since the last Status of Women Report was issued in 1996, North
Carolina’s women have achieved higher levels of education than men; they
represent 59 percent of North Carolina’s work force and own 28 percent
of the state’s businesses. However, they continue to be paid less than
male counterparts.

Additionally, while 66 percent of women with children under age 5 are in
the workforce, the cost of child care remains more expensive than the
average annual tuition and fees for a public four-year college in North
Carolina.

The full report will analyze key issues – such as employment and
earnings, economic security and poverty, health and well-being, and
political participation – that profoundly affect the lives of women in
North Carolina. The data that the report presents is intended to serve
as a resource for advocates, researchers, community leaders,
policymakers and others who seek to analyze and discuss community
investments, program initiatives, and public policies that will lead to
positive change for women in North Carolina and nationwide.

The 2012 Status of Women in North Carolina report is made possible by a
funding partnership between the N.C. Council for Women and community
partners, notably the Wells Fargo Foundation.

“Women make up more than 55 percent of Wells Fargo’s North Carolina
workforce. They are critical to our success as a company, as they are to
our state’s economy,” said Laura Schulte, president of Wells Fargo’s
Eastern Community Bank. “We’re proud to play a role in creating the
Status of Women in North Carolina report; we know this data will be used
to support the economic advancement of our state’s women for years to
come.”

Other funding partners include Women for Women with the Community
Foundation of Western North Carolina
, the Women to Women Fund at the
Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro
, the Women’s Giving Circle at
the Community Foundation of Cumberland County
, the Mountain Area Health
and Education Center Department of OB-GYN and the Women’s Fund at the
North Carolina Community Foundation
. Read the full article