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Report highlights challenges facing Maine women

(WCAX)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 9:47 AM EDT
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Maine's Permanent Commission on the Status of Women has released its 2020 report to Gov. Janet Mills and the Maine Legislature.

The Commission prepares a biennial report concerning the current status of women and girls in Maine and recommends policy options that will improve their lives.

The 2020 report says that women currently make 83.3 cents on the dollar compared to men and that it will take until 2060 for women in Maine to reach equal pay for equal work as men, if current trends continue.

The report also says that 49.2% of Maine women have been sexually harassed at work and 35.7% have faced rape or attempted rape.

The report does applaud efforts to expand access to health services for women but says the rising costs of insurance, care, and prescription drugs continues to create growing challenges.

"We are proud of the progress women have made in our states first 200 years of statehood, but as this report shows, Maine women still disproportionately struggle for economic security, experience domestic and sexual violence, and lack access to health care," said Commissioners Rebecca Austin and Kate Elmes in a joint statement. "The institutional and systemic barriers holding women back from full equality are amplified for Maine's Black and indigenous women. We hope this report supports and uplifts women's lived experiences and provides steps Maine can and should take to strengthen women's equality."

The report advocates for passage of the Maine Equal Rights Amendment to ensure that Maine's Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

The report also includes recommendations about economic security, freedom from violence, education, health, and underserved women.

You can read the entire report here: https://www.maine.gov/sos/womens-comm/documents/PCSW2020.pdf

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