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March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 2013 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™ reveals new trends and insights on why stubborn gender gaps persist in the nation's most populous state. Released on Thursday by
Mount St. Mary's College, the Report is the only one of its kind, compiling data on a dozen key issues vital to the well-being of
California's 18.9 million women and girls.
This year's Report includes research on demographics, education, employment, poverty, media, technology, leadership, physical health, mental health, violence, incarceration, and women in the military. To read the Report in full, visit
"We publish this Report because if we truly want to inspire our own
students to affect change, we must lead by example," says
Ann McElaney-Johnson, president of
Mount St. Mary's College. "As a women's college, we have a passion for fostering women's leadership. We want to empower our students and alumnae to live lives of purpose."
At Thursday's public release of the Report,
Geena Davis — Academy Award®-winner and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media — spoke to an overflow crowd of more than 850 people. Davis is chair of the
California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.
"Last year, when this Report was released, the
California Commission on the Status of Women was on the chopping block," Davis told the audience. "It was a budget line item to be eliminated."
Today, thanks to an outpouring of public support, the Commission has not only survived; Davis has helped expand its focus to include girls as well. The state commission's name now mirrors the breadth of Mount St. Mary's Report on the Status of Women and Girls in
"We need to focus on all generations of women to create lasting change," Davis said. "That is why I am working to ensure that positive images of women and girls are instilled at a young age. Until these issues are addressed at an early age, we will never reach our full potential as a society."