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Our "Why"

Why a Women's Center?

Why Women's Center?

Our name is a little misleading. While we are the Women's Center, that does not mean that we exclusively serve women. The Women's Center is open to all students, faculty, and staff who want to think about the ways in which gender intersects and impacts our lives.

Why not a Men's Center?

As a group, men have not been systematically denied access, faced gender oppression, or had to fight for equal rights based on gender or because of their status as men. However, this does not mean that men have not suffered because of our gender system or that individual men have not experienced cruelty and violence as a result of cultural issues related to misogyny, masculinity and gender expression. Women on the other hand, have historically experienced, and in many cases continue to experience, discrimination in areas such as representation, employment and salary equity. Men as part of other disenfranchised identity groups have had to fight for some of these rights, but not because they are men: in these cases the fight has been about race, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, for example.

So why do we need a Women's Center at UD? Here are a few reasons...

UD Representation
  • Women make up 48% of full-time undergraduate students at UD – 3,875 out of 8,046 total undergraduate students.
  • Women of color make up 9% of full-time undergraduate students at UD – 754 out of 8,046 total undergraduate students.
  • International women make up 1% of full-time undergraduate students at UD – 89 out of 8,046 total undergraduate students.
  • Women make up 45% of full-time and part-time degree seeking graduate students at UD – 918 out of 2,028 graduate students.
  • Women of color make up 7% of full-time and part-time degree seeking graduate students at UD – 149 out of 2,028 graduate students.
  • International women make up 10% of full-time and part-time degree seeking graduate students at UD – 205 out of 2,028 graduate students.
  • Women constitute 45% of the total number of instructional faculty. There are 284 women full-time instructional faculty compared to 339 men.
  • There are 42 women of color who are full-time faculty, or 15% of the total number of faculty. For comparison, there are 82 men of color who are full-time faculty, or 29% of the total number of faculty.
  • Of the 284 women full-time instructional faculty, 37% have tenure. Of the 339 men full-time instructional faculty, 58% have tenure. Tenure guarantees academic freedom and the right not to have his or her position terminated without just cause.
  • 13 of 34 members of the UD Board of Trustees are women.
  • 10 of 32 members of the president's council are women. The president's council includes members of the president's cabinet, associate vice presidents/provosts, and academic unit administrators.
  • 6 of 19 members of the provost's council are women. The provost's council is comprised of educational and academic leaders of the university.
  • There have been 0 women presidents at the University of Dayton.
Statewide Political Representation
  • 7 out of 33 Ohio State Senators are women.
  • 27 out of 99 Ohio House Representatives are women.  
  • Of the 2,134 women state legislators serving nationwide, 541, or about 25% are women of color.
National Political Representation
  • 25 of the 100 U.S. Senators are women. 
  • 4 of the total 100 U.S. Senators are women of color. They are Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA).
  • 101 out of 435, or about 23% of U.S. Representatives are women. 
  • 43 out of 435, or about 10% of U.S. Representatives are women of color. 
  • 9 out of 50 state governors are women. The states who have women governors are Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.  
  • Only 3 women have ever been nominated as a Presidential or Vice Presidential candidate by a major political party in the United States: Hillary Clinton (P) by the Democratic party in 2016, Sarah Palin (VP) by the Republican party in 2008, and Geraldine Ferraro (VP) by the Democratic party in 1984. 
  • There have been 0 women presidents.
Representation in the Workforce
  • Women make up 46.9% of the total labor force.
  • Women make up 75% of those employed in education and health service industries, but only constitute 15% of executive officers and 12% of board directors within these same industries.
  • Women make up about 20% of those employed in the engineering field.
  • Less than 10% of women are employed in the construction industry. Of those in the construction industry, 50% are in office or administrative roles.
  • 35, or 7% of CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies are held by women. Some of the companies that are led by women are General Motors, Anthem, IBM, and Best Buy.
  • 22.5% of board seats in Fortune 500 companies are held by women. Only 4.6% of these board seats are held by women of color.

Sources:  UD Fact Book, UD Office of the President, UD Office of the ProvostInstitutional Reporting of Race & EthnicityFortune 500Center for Women & Politics of OhioCenter for Women & American Politics, Catalyst, and Bureau of Labor Statistics (all data current as of Fall 2019)


Workforce
  • Nationwide, women working full-time, year-round earn 81 cents for every dollar men earn.
  • White (not Hispanic) women earn 78 cents to every dollar white men earn.
  • Black/African American women earn 61 cents for every dollar white men earn and 86 cents to every dollar earned by Black/African American men.
  • Hispanic/Latinx women earn 55 cents for every dollar white men earn and 84 cents to every dollar earned by Hispanic/Latinx men.
  • Asian American women earn 90 cents for every dollar white men earn and 79 cents to every dollar earned by Asian American men.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native women earn 58 cents for every dollar white men earn.
  • Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander women earn 62 cents for every dollar white men earn.
  • Women make up 62% of the minimum wage workers.
  • The median weekly earning for women is $780 compared to men at $934. One in four Hispanic women (24.2%) and close to one in five Black/African American women (18.1%) work full-time and earn less than $400 per week.
  • Over the course of a career, defined as 47 years, the estimated loss of earnings of women compared with men is $700,000 for a high school graduate, $1.2 million for a college graduate, and $2 million for a professional school graduate.
Student Debt
  • On average, women take on more student debt than men at almost every degree level and type, from associate degrees to doctoral degrees and across institution types.
  • Women hold almost two-thirds of the outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. That equates to about $929 billion.
  • 34% of all women who were repaying student loans reported that they had been unable to meet essential expenses within the past year, compared to 24% of all men.
  • 57% of Black/African American women who were repaying student loans reported that they had been unable to meet essential expenses within the past year.

Sources:  Institute for Women's Policy ResearchAAUW, U.S. Department of Labor (all data current as of Fall 2019)


Eating Disorders
  • 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States struggle daily with disordered eating.
  • Approximately 90-95% of those who suffer from anorexia are women and girls. 
  • Anorexia has an estimated mortality rate of around 10%, which is the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
  • Approximately 80% of those who suffer from bulimia are women and girls.
  • Among female college athletes surveyed, 25.5% had eating disorder symptoms.
  • There is a strong link between exercise compulsion and various forms of eating disorders. An estimated 90-95% of college students diagnosed with an eating disorder also belong to a fitness facility. 
  • In a study looking at calorie restriction prior to alcohol consumption in college freshmen, 14% of the subjects reported restriction calories, with 6% reporting the behavior to avoid weight gain and 10% to enhance alcohol’s effect.
  • Despite similar rates of eating disorders among non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians in the United States, people of color are significantly less likely to receive help for their eating issues.
  • Up to 50% of individuals with eating disorders also abused alcohol or illicit drugs, a rate five times higher than the general population.
Body Image
  • Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their body image. 
  • Over 40% of women and about 20% of men say they would consider cosmetic surgery in the future. The statistics remain relatively constant across gender, age, marital status, and race.
  • Only 1.8% of women genetically have the “ideal” body currently presented in the media. The average model is 5’11” and weighs 117 pounds, whereas the average women is 5’3/8” and weighs 166 pounds. 

Sources:  National Eating Disorder Association (all data current as of Fall 2019)


  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the US; more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States has been raped in their lifetime.
  • 19.3 million women and 5.1 million men in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime.
  • In the US, more than 1,200 women are killed each year by their intimate partner. A study of intimate partner homicides found that 20% of victims were not the intimate partners themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders.
  • 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female.
  • The health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking and homicide by intimate partners exceed $8.3 billion each year.
  • Women and girls make up 98% of victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. Trafficking women and children for sexual exploitation is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. 
Sources: Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Violence & StalkingBureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization SurveyCenters for Disease Control and PreventionNational Data on Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Violence, and Stalking (all data current as of 09/2017)

  • Out of 193 developed countries, the United States is one of eight countries that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave.
  • 92 countries offer paid paternity leave, but the United States is not one of them.
  • In the United States, 12% of workers have access to paid family leave through their employers.
  • On average, 42% of first time mothers took unpaid leave after giving birth; 5% of these women were let go.
  • Nearly 70% of all mothers with children under the age of 18 are in the labor force.
  • 76% of all African-American mothers with children under the age of 18 are in the labor force, more than any other group of mothers.
  • 40% of families have women as the primary breadwinner, even though women, on average, earn 80 cents compared to their male counterparts.
  • More than two-thirds of families with single mothers have an income at least 200% below the federal poverty line.
  • Working mothers make less money on average than non-mothers, while working fathers make more, on average than non-fathers. 

Sources: U.S. Department of Labor, Think Progress (all data current as of 09/2017)


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