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2019 Report Illuminates Positive Trends And Disparities that Woman Face in Santa Monica
February 20, 2020
by Tati Simonian
This article is authored by Sylvia Ghazarian, Chair, Commission on the Status of Women.
The Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women (COSW) partnered with Mount Saint Mary’s University’s Center for the Advancement of Women to produce a 2019 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in Santa Monica.
The report identifies challenges and opportunities facing women in the City of Santa Monica, as well as recommendations for City staff to consider in the areas of data collection, policy and program analysis and reform, and opportunities for gender-specific trainings. The report also meets the obligations of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) resolution adopted by City Council August 25, 2015.
The data included in the 2019 COSW Report on the Status of Women and Girls provides a portrait of the welfare and standing of women and girls in the City of Santa Monica using a variety of economic and social indicators. Similar to the COSW’s 2015 report, the updated report focuses on the following three areas of data collection and analysis: 1) Demographics (race, age, LGBTQ+, education, graduation rates); 2) Economic Freedom (the opportunities available for women to work, earn a living, and reach personal and professional goals); and 3) Wellbeing (satisfaction surveys, mental health, poverty, violence, etc.).
The following positive trends are present in both the 2015 and 2019 reports:
- The racial composition among women in Santa Monica has become more diverse.
- The number of women-owned businesses in Santa Monica continues to increase.
- The gender wage gap has narrowed between 2013 and 2017.
The data revealed in the 2019 report calls attention to areas of continued hardship for women and girls in Santa Monica including the following:
- Twenty-three percent of Santa Monica’s homeless population are women.
- Santa Monica’s full-time, year-round working women earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by men.
- Six percent of Santa Monica women in the labor force were unemployed in 2017.
The 2019 Report on the Status of Women and Girls includes recommendations for policy analysis and reform, program development, trainings, and expansion of data collection. These recommendations are proposed to support current City initiatives related to data-driven decision-making in an effort to align City policies with practices that ensure the areas of reported gender gaps and disparities are mitigated in the future.
Additionally, the updated data and the proposed recommendations included in the 2019 report will be used by the COSW to inform the development of the Commission’s current and future work plans.