Women’s Fund Releases Extensive Report about Women in Alabama

A key finding of “Status of Women in Alabama” is that the gender wage gap in Alabama is wider than in most other states.

An extensive report released by the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham on Wednesday showed that women in Alabama are lagging behind men in wages and other areas.

“Status of Women in Alabama: 2020,” produced with data compiled by Washington’s Institute for Women’s Policy and Research, had these key findings, according to the Women’s Fund:

  • Women with children who wish to enter the workforce face steep childcare costs: the annual cost for an infant (under 12 months old) in Alabama is $5,858, nearly 17% of women’s median annual earnings.
  • The gender wage gap in Alabama is wider than in most other states. Women in Alabama earn only 73 cents for every dollar a man earns, compared to 82 cents for U.S. women overall.
  • Women make up 15.7% of the Alabama Legislature (22 out of 140 members). On average, women make up 29.2% of a state’s legislature.
  • Women in Alabama are more likely than men to have filed for unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, accounting for 57.3% of total claims.
  • Approximately 37.5% of Alabama women have experienced sexual assault, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner.

The Women’s Fund calls the report “an important benchmark on the issues most impacting women at the intersection of geographic location, race, ethnicity and age,” offering “critical insights into the realities women face.”

“Research has long been one of the Women’s Fund’s core strategies to accelerate economic opportunity for women because we know what gets measured, gets changed,” said Tracey Morant Adams, board chair for the Women’s Fund and senior executive vice president and chief corporate social responsibility officer at Renasant Bank. “Not only will our ‘Status of Women’ report guide our grantmaking strategies and public policy priorities, we expect it to inform the strategies of nonprofits, corporate leaders, elected officials and others also working to make a deeper, lasting impact for women and our community.”

The report is part of a larger initiative for the Women’s Fund to examine barriers and opportunities for Alabama women.

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“Put simply, there is a gender data gap in Alabama and beyond,” Melanie R. Bridgeforth, president and CEO of the Women’s Fund, said. “We just don’t know what we don’t know about women — and we’re paying a price. … The Women’s Fund is committed to contributing valuable data, specifically on women, woefully absent at decision-making tables from board rooms to the State House.”

“Status of Women in Alabama” will be updated every two years.

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