Inside INdiana Business

Fort Wayne launches women’s equity fund

(photo courtesy of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne is launching a fund focusing on women. The organization says the Women’s Fund of Greater Fort Wayne is dedicated to understanding and overcoming the challenges facing women and girls in Allen County.

The foundation says it is using data from an 18-month study by Purdue University Fort Wayne Community Research Institute assessing the current state of women and girls’ well-being. The foundation says the study assessed the factors that affect women and girls in Allen County. The results indicate women and girls in the county have success in some areas, but still face many challenges.

The foundation says its next steps include creating strategies for women and girls around economic equity and personal safety.

“This pivotal data sets the basis for how we move forward and impact what truly matters in creating an equitable future for our girls and women in Allen County,” said Alison Gerardot, vice president of philanthropic service at The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne. “It will inform the rest of the community on where we fall short, and what we can do to elevate our girls and women.”

According to the study, the four key issues that drive women’s economic security are: employment, education and training, access to resources for physical and emotional health and well-being, caregiving responsibilities and personal safety.

Major highlights about women from the study include: women’s median earnings are $15,590 less than men’s, 26% of women did not access healthcare because of cost, and 70% of women have experienced crime in their lifetime.

The study shows the four major indicators that influence girls’ lives include: academic performance, emotional well-being, teenage pregnancy and involvement with the juvenile justice system.

From the data, the foundation says it can conclude that girls perform well academically, and younger women are more than twice as likely to have a bachelor’s degree than their mothers or grandmothers. The foundation says the data also indicates pregnancy rates among girls in Allen County are also lower than their state peers, yet they also report feeling sad.

The foundation commissioned Purdue University Fort Wayne Community Research Institute to conduct the Allen County Women and Girls Study.

The foundation says the last time a study like this was done in Allen County was in 1974.

You can connect to the study by clicking here.

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