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Maryland Commission for Women Releases Study on Status of Maryland Women

June 11, 2021

Media Contact: Judith Vaughan-Prather
judith.vaughan-prather@maryland.gov

Maryland Commission for Women Releases Study on Status of Maryland Women

The Maryland Commission for Women released Maryland Women: A Status Report, on Thursday, June 10 based on research conducted by the Commission. The research was
designed to gather statistics on the conditions of women in the state as a follow-up to the two-year-long Voices of Maryland Women Listening Tour which included 19 public forums and an online survey inviting women to “talk to us” about the challenges they face in their everyday lives.

This research project was headed by Dr. Marylou Yam, chair, and Evelyne Steward, vice-chair of the Commission’s Status of Women in Maryland Committee. The initiative compiled information about women from statistics published by a range of federal and state agencies as well as private research and policy firms. The Status Report documents that, although several “glass ceilings” for women have been shattered in the state, many disparities remain, including:

  • A gender-based wage gap persists and is especially significant for women of color.
  • 60% of all minimum wage earners are female.
  • Childcare costs represent a huge, and for many, unsustainable percent of working mother’s incomes.
  • Only three of Maryland’s 24 major jurisdictions are headed by women.

Further research is needed, especially with regard to how these disparities may have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the Commission is now ready to examine how Maryland women have been affected by the pandemic over the past 14 months and to understand the challenges they face as society recovers. This study will include an online survey and a series of virtual forums or focus groups, with a plan for a final report by December 2021.

The Maryland Commission for Women is a 25-member advisory board established by state law. Its office is located in the Department of Human Services. Commissioners are appointed by the Governor with advice and consent of the state Senate. Among the duties outlined in the Commission’s enabling legislation are: study the status of women in our state, direct attention to critical problems confronting women, and recommend methods of overcoming discrimination.

Maryland Women: A Status Report is posted on the website of the Commission for Women at www.marylandwomen.org.

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Filed in: DHS News, Women's Commission

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