Happy Women’s History Month! We celebrate women all year round here, but why not spend a month really diving deep into the issues women face, the strong women around us, the women who came before us, and the ways we can support women today and tomorrow and every day going forward. As I’ve been doing research for women’s history months–and reading books about modern and older waves of feminism–I’ve come across some fascinating statistics that help contextualize why we need Women’s History Month still today and what people often forget about the fairer sex. 

Female unemployment in the U.S. is at 3.5%

As of January 2020, BLS estimates the female unemployment rate to be at 3.5%. In January 2010, that rate was 8.4%, and the rate spiked to 9% in November of 2010. Overall unemployment as of January 2020 was 3.6%. 

Women outnumbered men in the United States

The US Census Bureau estimated in 2017 that there were 165.3 million women in the US compared to a 160.3 million men. 

1 in 12 veterans are women

Today’s veterans are more female than ever. An estimated one in every twelve veterans today are women. That’s about 8.4% of all veterans, up from 3.9% in 1980. 

More women than men are enrolled in college

The 2017 American Community Survey found that 9.8 million women were enrolled in undergraduate studies, compared to 8.2 million men. 1.7 million men were enrolled in graduate school, compared to 2.4 million women. 

33 female CEOs made the Fortune 500 list in 2019

That’s the highest amount of companies run by female CEOs on the list ever. In 2018, that number was 24. Some of those companies include Williams-Sonoma, IBM, General Motors, Hershey, Ulta Beauty, and Renewable Energy Group. 

Only 3.5% Of All SCOTUS Justices have been women

There are currently three female justices on the Supreme Court. This is the highest concentration to ever sit on the bench. The first woman was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1981. To date, only 4 of the 114 justices on the court have been women–about 3.5%. 

There are 9 female governors currently in the United States

Women hold nine governor’s mansions around the country. Forty-four have served in US history. Women currently hold the governorship of Rhode Island, Oregon, Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, Maine, South Dakota, and Kansas. Republican women currently hold three of these positions. 

The leading cause of death Of women is heart disease

The CDC estimated that in 2017, 21.8% of female deaths could be attributed to heart disease. That was lower than the incidence of heart disease in men by a few percentage points. The next leading cause of death in women was cancer. 

Poor women accounted for almost 50% of abortion patients in 2014

Debates about abortion aside, poor women, that is women living below the poverty line, made up 49% of all abortion patients in 2014. A 2017 study by the Guttmacher Institute estimated that almost one in four women will have an abortion by the age of 45, though rates of abortion are on a downward trend in the U.S. The CDC says that in 2016 there were 623,471 abortions performed in the United States. 

Only 53 women have been awarded a Nobel Prize

There have been 950 total Nobel Laureates–that includes 27 organizations, as opposed to individuals. Only 53 of them are women. One woman, Marie Curie, has been awarded two Nobel prizes. Some of these Nobel-winning women include Jane Addams, Mother Theresa, Pearl Buck, Alice Munro, Elizabeth H Blackburn, and Donna Strickland. No woman won a Nobel Prize in 2019. The 2018 Nobel Literature winner–Olga Tokarczuk–was announced alongside the 2019 winners. 

In the 2018 Olympics, American women out-medaled American men

During the 2019 Winter Games in South Korea, the United States won 23 medals in single-sex events. 12 of those medals were won by women. This was the first time American women out-medaled the men in two decades. Women won 5 of the 9 gold medals as well! 

Only one woman has ever won a Best Directing Oscar

Kathryn Bigelow won the Oscar for Best Director in 2009 for her film The Hurt Locker. In total, only five women have ever even been nominated in the category–which has been offered 71 times. The other women that have been nominated include Greta Gerwig, Sofia Coppola, Jamie Campion, and Lina Wertmuller.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member