Thursday, February 19, 2009
The Journal Record's article re Oklahoma Women's Coalition event
Coalition advocates for women’s advancement
by Janice Francis-Smith
The Journal Record February 19, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY – On Wednesday, another organization added its name to the list of groups formed to advocate for women in Oklahoma – the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition – with the intentions of taking Oklahoma off the top of several lists the state does not want to be on.
“We are No. 1 in incarcerated women and child abuse, No. 4 in the divorce rate and No. 6 in teen births,” said Jean Warner, chairwoman of OWC. Oklahoma is ranked the third worst state in America for women, said Warner, adding that the state ranks fourth in women murdered by men, 41st in women’s employment and earnings, 42nd in women’s overall health and 45th in women in managerial and professional jobs.Warner also writes for the Oklahoma Women’s Network Web site and blog, is a co-founder of Oklahoma’s N.E.W. (National Education for Women) Leadership program, and serves as a member of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women’s Advisory Committee.
Coalition members include the Oklahoma chapters of Business & Professional Women and the American Association of University Women, the League of Women Voters, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma, the Chickasaw Nation, YWCA Oklahoma City and YWCA Tulsa, as well as other groups. The group represents more than 75,000 Oklahoma women and girls.
Oklahoma consistently ranks near the bottom of the national Institute for Women’s Policy Research state rankings, scoring poorly in political participation, employment and earnings, social and political autonomy, health and other quality-of-life indicators.
“The state is coming up short when it comes to creating an environment that influences women and girls to achieve their full potential,” Warner said. OWC, which is two months old, now is working to establish relationships with experts in key policy areas and with policymakers.
“We want to be a highly respected resource for legislators and policymakers,” said Warner. OWC, formed as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, will focus this year on building its knowledge regarding education, health care, incarceration, violence, aging and work and families.
Warner was joined by Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Jari Askins and Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy in unveiling the commission’s logo – the letters O, W and C arranged to look like a woman’s face.
Posted by Jean Warner at 4:48 PM