The Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) will host a community discussion at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27, on the Oregon Women’s Foundation “Count Her In” Report (https://womensfoundationoforegon.org/ uploads/CountHerInreport. pdf ), which was released Sept. 21 on the status of women and girls in Oregon. The discussion will be held at Central Lincoln PUD meeting room, 2129 N Coast Highway, Newport.
More than 100 Lincoln County women, and a few men, participated in the “listening tour” stop that was held earlier this year in Newport and that contributed to the “Count Her In” report.
The Central Oregon Coast Chapter of NOW believes the findings raised some major concerns and that it important to have a community discussion about how the coast can respond to some of those findings.
Among the concerns identified by NOW are:
• An estimated 1 million Oregon women and girls — more than half of the state’s female population — have experienced some form of sexual or domestic violence. This is one of the highest rates in the country.
• Oregon is one of the least affordable states in the nation for child care. A year of day care is now more expensive than annual tuition at a state university in Oregon.
• Women and girls of color in Oregon experience disproportionate barriers to success, including poverty rates that are nearly twice as high as those of white women and girls. • Hundreds of thousands of women lack access to the information and services they need to decide if, when, and how they become pregnant. Almost half of Oregon pregnancies are unintended, a rate that has barely dropped in 20 years.
• Oregon women earn between 53 and 83 cents (depending on race or ethnicity) for every dollar white men in Oregon earn. The gender wealth gap, based on the sum of a person’s assets, is even larger: approximately 35 cents on the dollar. Oregon’s gender wealth gap is among the largest in the nation.
• Oregon women have the highest incidence of reported depression in the country, as well as the highest rate of alcohol use. Women are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide than men, and Oregon women have higher rates of childhood trauma than the national average.
The purpose of this meeting is to work on solutions to the obstacles facing women and girls in the local community. The public is encouraged to attend. For more information, email email@example.com or go online at http://www.centraloregoncoastnow.com.
Newport News Times, September 29, 2016, Section B 4