Why do we need a Women’s Center at Northwestern University?

Because: In the U.S. and worldwide, women receive 30-40% less pay on average for the same work as men. Men continue to outnumber women in the highest paying professions.  Women remain concentrated at the lower levels of most professions, including higher education, in which women fill a disproportionate share of part-time, adjunct, and lecturer positions.

Because: 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.  College age women are 4 times more likely to be assaulted. Victims of sexual assault are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression, 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide, 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, and 26 times more likely to abuse drugs.

Because: Millions of women are battered each year; and nearly 60% of homeless women in the Chicagoland area are homeless due to domestic violence. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, domestic violence is the number one reason women across the country enter emergency rooms. 

Because: 75% of retirees living below the poverty line are women.

Because:  There are only 89 women members of Congress (out of 535).  Women make up over 50% of the population but just 16% of Congress.  In 2010, for the first time in 30 years, the number of women in Congress decreased.  Women also lost ground in the state legislatures in 2010, as well.  No woman of color currently serves in the U.S. Senate, & until 2010, no woman of color had ever been elected governor (there are now 2). Only 3 of the 9 Supreme Court justices and 6 of the 50 state governors are women.

Because: The U.S. ranks 90th worldwide for percentage of women in the House of Representatives.

Because: Women make up 1/2 the world's population, perform 2/3 of the world's work, receive less than 1/10 of its income, and own less than 1/100 of the world's property.

University women’s centers exist to help student, faculty, and staff women level the playing field.  We keep working to transform the Northwestern University and the world because women and girls matter.

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