Commission on the Status of Women and Girls Release 2013-2014 Report
April 25, 2014
The Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CSWG), a citizens advisory committee of the City of Tallahassee Commission and the Leon County Board of County Commissioners, held a news conference to present the findings and recommendations to the community from a report focused on improving the status women and girls in Tallahassee and Leon County today, Friday, April 25, at 10 a.m., at the Florida Press Center, 336 E. College Ave. Commissioners who serve on the CSWG, as well as local elected leaders, were present.
Building upon the Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls' first report in 2012, this report, A Call to Action, offers both new data on women and girls in Tallahassee and Leon County in the areas of the workplace and economic security, violence, health and girls, as well as 100 recommendations to community stakeholders about how to improve the lives of women and girls locally.
"This Report highlights 100 recommendations for action," said Robin Hassler Thompson, Chair of the CSWG. "100 steps that everyone in our community can take that will improve the lives of women, girls and our whole community."
The CSWG's work over the past 18 months included hosting a Summit on Women and the Workplace where more than 200 people attended and participated; working with the City and County to develop and implement strong and comprehensive policies to address domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking at the workplace; creating a coalition of service providers serving girls; and, hosting numerous public hearings.
Key findings include:
- More needs to be done to address the many levels of economic insecurity that women and girls face. The median household income for Leon County in 2013 was $45,827. Yet, for a single mother with two children, one in preschool and one in school, it would cost $56,064 for her to meet the most basic household expenses.
- Violence against women and girls is still epidemic in our area. In Leon County, the number of total forcible sex offenses declined by 10.2% from 2011 to 2012. However, incidents of forcible rape increased 9% in the same time period.
- Girls need strong role models and attention. According to local service providers for girls, bullying between and among girls has seen a sharp increase in the past few years with the advent of social media.
- Women and girls lack access to even basic health care. The lack of health insurance creates major barriers for those seeking medical care; there are approximately 21,000 uninsured women and girls in Leon County.
- Young women face reproductive health concerns. Out of all 67 Florida counties, Leon County had the 12th highest rate of bacterial sexually transmitted infections for women between the ages of 15 and 34 in 2012.
"This Commission is a catalyst for action," said Thompson. "We encourage everyone to read this report and join together with the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls to move our community forward."
"Tallahassee and Leon County are wonderful places to live and work. But for women and girls, there is still much we can all do by working together to make our community safer, healthier and more economically secure," said Haley Cutler, Executive Director, The Oasis Center for Women & Girls. "This report truly is a call to action for us all and creates a meaningful path to a more just future."
The Leon County Board of County Commissioners established the Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls in April 2011. The City of Tallahassee joined Leon County in March 2013, creating what is now the Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CSWG). The CSWG is made up of 21 appointed Commissioners who serve on a volunteer basis. The Oasis Center for Women & Girls serves as the staffing agency to the CSWG. The full report and executive summary are available to the public for download from The Oasis Center for Women & Girls' website.
Haley Cutler, Executive Director of The Oasis Center for Women & Girls, 954-260-5601