Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Road to Equality

Bremer Bank in Willmar hosted the Women's Foundation of Minnesota on June 29 as one of eight stops on the Road to Equality Tour. Lee Roper-Batker, president & CEO of WFM, presented highlights of a new research report the foundation conducted together with the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute's Center on Women & Public Policy.

The one-hour session moved quickly through key findings covered in the research on Economic Justice, Safety & Security, Health & Reproductive Rights and Power & Leadership topics.

The tour was also a way to keep the dialogue going around these issues by enlisting reactions and comment from those attending. A group of 30 people gathered, and did indeed listen with interest and provide comment to what they heard.

Some tidbits of the dialogue:
Report: The wage gap between men & women continues, and is largest in rural MN.
Willmar-West Central MN attendees: it's true; it's frustrating and disappointing, but in this economy it's hard to make progress - just glad to have a job.

Report: By mid-life, 33% of Minnesota women have experienced a rape crime with the highest percentage in West Central Minnesota.
Willmar-West Central MN attendees: Agree that the normalization of violence against women as well as stressors in the economy contribute. And funding for prevention and women's shelter programs in declining in the face of rising need.

Report: Birth rates for white girls are highest in greater MN; and teen birth rates are drastically higher for girls of color than for white girls.
Willmar-West Central MN attendees: recognizing this, local programs such as Community Teen Moms have good success rate in supporting girls to a better future.

Check out the "Status of Women & Girls In Minnesota Research Overview" for additional information.

Lois Schmidt, NRS, Willmar

1 comment:

MagicBrad said...

I love Bremer Bank and what they stand for!