Access & Disparities

Despite recent progress, women do not have equal access to educational opportunities. Socio-economic and racial disparities persist, particularly for immigrants and women of color. More effort needs to be focused on improving access to college preparatory and post-secondary education for low-income girls. Efforts need to include comprehensive sex education and teen pregnancy prevention as well as extended and flexible degree programs for single mothers. More focus is needed on making “hard sciences” (physics, chemistry, engineering) and technology more appealing to girls both in the classroom and as part of after-school activities.

The Pregnancy Assistance Fund as a Support for Student Parents in Postsecondary Education

The Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) is a competitive grant program created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that provides funding to states and tribes to support programs that provide pregnant and parenting women and girls with supportive services to help them complete high school or postsecondary degrees (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2010a). Only two states, Minnesota and Virginia, have used their PAF grants to provide services related to postsecondary institutions. This fact sheet describes several of the programs and initiatives created by these PAF grantees. Unless otherwise noted, all program information comes from interviews with program officials and staff.

by Rhiana Gunn-Wright (July 2012)

URL: 
http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/the-pregnancy-assistance-fund-as-a-support-for-student-parents-in-postsecondary-education

The State of Women of Color in the United States

Issue brief from the Center for American Progress:

This issue brief examines the state of women of color in the United States at large in regards to four key areas: the workplace wage gap, health, educational attainment, and political leadership. While conversations in the mainstream media would suggest that women of color are a monolithic entity, it is important to note that women of color are a diverse group with a variety of experiences. We offer specific data points on various racial and ethnic groups where available as we present the issues of greatest importance to women of color today, but remember that data are not always available for direct comparisons of different groups of women of color compared to their white counterparts.

 

URL: 
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/07/women_of_color_brief.html

Toward Gender Equality in East Asia and the Pacific

Report from the World Bank.

URL: 
http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/2012/06/17/toward-gender-equality-in-east-asia-and-the-pacific

A Pregnancy Test for Schools: The Impact of Education Laws on Pregnant and Parenting Students

 Parenthood is not the end of the road for teen moms. Quite to the contrary, motherhood can serve as an educational motivator for many young women. Unfortunately, educational barriers and discrimination often thwart this drive and determination. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is the landmark law that bans sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities. Despite Title IX’s prohibition against sex discrimination, there are schools across the country that continue to bar pregnant and parenting students from activities, kick them out of school, pressure them to attend alternative programs, and penalize them for pregnancy-related absences.

URL: 
http://www.nwlc.org/reports-overview/pregnancy-test-schools-impact-education-laws-pregnant-and-parenting-students
Member Organization: 

Community College Partnerships for Student and Career Success: Program Profile of Carreras en Salud

Postsecondary students with children often need an array of supports to succeed in their studies, which can require significant coordination among new and existing services (Conway, Blair, and Helmer 2012; Henrici n.d.; Miller, Gault, and Thorman 2011). Such supports might include financial aid, academic and career counseling, job placement assistance, transportation, housing, child care, and classes in English-as-a-Second Language. To more effectively provide an expanded range of student resources, community colleges often partner with local nonprofits, private businesses and foundations, and government institutions (Altstadt 2011; Bragg et al. 2007; Bray, Painter, and Rosen 2011; Conway, Blair, and Helmer 2012; Leutz 2007; Singh 2007; Wilson 2010).

URL: 
http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/community-college-partnerships-for-student-and-career-success-program-profile-of-carreras-en-salud

Title IX at 40: Working to Ensure Gender Equity in Education

You've heard about Title IX and athletics, but Title IX is about much more! In honor of the 40th anniversary of the law’s passage, NCWGE published a comprehensive report to help give educators, parents, students, and lawmakers a better understanding of Title IX’s impact and challenges that remain in many areas of education, including:

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Bullying and Sexual Harassment
  • Single-Sex Education
  • Pregnant and Parenting Students
  • Athletics

From the National Coalition of Women and Girls in Education

URL: 
http://www.ncwge.org/PDF/TitleIXat40.pdf

Gender Segregation in Fields of Study at Community Colleges and Implications for Future Earnings

Postsecondary education yields myriad benefits, including increased earnings potential, higher lifetime wages, and access to quality jobs. But postsecondary degrees are not all equalin the benefits they bring to students and women tend to obtain degrees in fields with lower earnings. Women with associate degrees earn approximately 75 percent of what men with associate degrees earn (U.S. Department of Commerce and the Executive Office of the President, 2011). This wage gap occurs in part because women with AA degrees—like women at all degree levels—often work in lower-paid, female-dominated occupations (Hegewisch, et al. 2010).

by Layla Moughari, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Barbara Gault, Ph.D. (May 2012)

 

URL: 
http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/gender-segregation-in-fields-of-study-at-community-colleges-and-implications-for-future-earnings

Single Student Parents Face Financial Difficulties, Debt, Without Adequate Aid

Parents with dependent children were nearly one quarter of students enrolled for credit at American postsecondary institutions in 2008. These students face significant challenges to remaining enrolled and graduating, including limited access to affordable child care, difficulty balancing the demands of school with the demands of work and family, and financial limitations that make it difficult to remain enrolled. Student parents are more likely than traditional students to say that financial difficulties are likely to result in their withdrawing from college (Miller, Gault, and Thorman 2011).

by Kevin Miller, Ph.D. (May 2012)

URL: 
http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/single-student-parents-face-financial-difficulties-debt-without-adequate-aid
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