Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Maine Permanent Commission on the Status of Women releases biennial report

AUGUSTA — On Tuesday Maine’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women released its 2022 report, “Count Us In: Maine Women, Data, and the Care Economy” to the Maine Legislature and Governor Janet Mills.

The Commission is a government appointed group dedicated to improving opportunities for women and girls which prepares a biennial report for the legislature that reflects the current status of women and girls in Maine and recommends policy options that will improve their lives.

“For years, the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women has struggled with their charge of updating the governor and the legislature with information pertaining to the status of women and girls because data are limited or unavailable, particularly when considering women who are people of color, indigenous, or are marginalized for other reasons,” said Anne Gass, Commissioner and Report Chair. “We hope this report will encourage the legislature to create a process to review new legislation's impact on women, and to collect more data related to women, especially with regard to the care economy.”

Women play a larger role in caring for young children, family members with disabilities, and aging parents, and comprise the bulk of the paid workforce in the care economy, which means the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on Maine women. The 2022 report explores the challenges our state faces in going beyond the broad grouping of "women" to better understand the race, ethnicity, age, disability, or other characteristics of women most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commission members strongly advise the Legislature to support the collection and reporting of reliable, accurate, and timely data on women, and especially more marginalized women and girls as it is essential to their ability to review legislative impact on gender and work together to improve the lives of Maine women and girls.

By statute, the Secretary of State’s office provides staffing support to the Commission. A copy of the 2022 report is attached.