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“What better place than a women’s college to consider the status of girls in our state?” reasoned Saint Mary’s College President Carol Ann Mooney. Over two years ago, President Mooney asked the College to collate data into one central report, titled The Status of Girls in Indiana 2013. “At Saint Mary's College, we empower women to make a difference in the world. Thanks to those who worked tirelessly on this report, policy and state decision makers have an additional tool to make informed decisions regarding girls in Indiana,” President Mooney says.
A team of faculty and students compiled the 60-page report, which draws together publicly available statistics on Hoosier girls ages 10 to 19. The SGI report is topically arranged and covers demographics (income, race, housing, etc.), education (attendance, standardized test performance, graduation rates, etc.), and health (physical activity, diet, substance use, mental health, abuse, etc.). From all indications, it’s the first comprehensive study on the health and well being of Indiana girls.
After learning about similar studies done by women’s colleges in other states, Mooney challenged the College’s Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) to lead the way for an Indiana report. “CWIL supports programming and research on women’s leadership and connects students and faculty with community leaders that serve girls and women for mutually beneficial collaboration,” said Elaine Meyer-Lee, CWIL’s director. “We were delighted to mobilize faculty and students and we applaud their work, which takes seriously the intersection of gender, race, and socioeconomic class affecting girls in Indiana.”
The effects of this report will be far-reaching in the realms of politics, education, and health. “Our girls deserve every chance to improve their lives and achieve their dreams. We will all benefit from their success,” President Mooney says.
“Anyone who works with, provides services for, or is concerned about the well-being of girls will find this report a much needed addition to their work. By providing a current snapshot of girls in Indiana, this report provides statistics for individuals, organizations, and agencies that need the information to offer recommendations for future programming efforts or policy considerations.”
~Kristin Garvey, executive director of the Indiana Commission for Women
“The Status of Girls in Indiana report exposes that too many girls suffer from low self esteem, are victims of sexual and physical abuse, and struggle with poverty.”
~Kathryn A. Schneider, Executive Director of St. Margaret’s House, South Bend
“The STEM data is critical and should result in further study and additional programs to improve girl's engagement and performance in those subjects.”
~Kristen Matha ’03, Associate Director of Enforcement, NCAA
“This information could be used to begin to identify and prioritize key services and supports for girls to achieve positive outcomes in greater numbers.”
~Demetrius Glover, Director of Research and Information Resources, United Way of Central Indiana
“Any meaningful steps to address building strong girls must be based on a careful analysis of available statistical information such as that compiled in this report.”
~Linda Baechle, president and CEO of YWCA of North Central Indiana