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Findings to provide road map for countywide initiative to address needs, coordinate necessary strategies and actions

On March 23, the County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy presented a comprehensive report about the State of Women and Girls in Santa Clara County. The document indicates how women and girls are faring in four crucial policy areas: education, the economy, violence and crime, and health.
“Women and girls are half of the population of Santa Clara County and ignoring their most pressing needs to thrive is a mistake we cannot afford to make,” said President George Shirakawa, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors after today’s presentation. “This report is a guideline for policy makers, community leaders and everyone who is ready to transform these challenges into opportunities for the benefit of our entire community.”
The presentation included keynote remarks and policy briefings by County of Santa Clara Supervisors and executives, as well as other stakeholders with knowledge and a longstanding commitment of advocacy for the population targeted by the report.
“This report will be extremely helpful as we focus on the most pressing needs of women and girls in our County,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Liz Kniss, Honorary Co-chair of the report. “Women face many challenges to develop their potential. The data will help us to address impending issues and be mindful of policy decisions that will affect women and girls.”
As Honorary Co-chair, Supervisor Kniss was joined by former County Supervisors U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren, Blanca Alvarado, Suzanne Wilson, and Diane McKenna, and former State Senator Becky Morgan and former City of San Jose Mayor Susan Hammer.
The State of Women and Girls in Santa Clara County is the result of an effort from the County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy, which in the fall of 2011 convened an Advisory Board comprised of thirty-two stakeholders representing a cross-section of disciplines.  The Advisory Board selected indicators, reviewed data, prioritized indicators for action, and identified strategies that have the greatest potential to improve the status of women.
“We are very grateful for the insight and support of the Advisory Board and everyone who understands the importance of keeping a gender lens in decision-making across Santa Clara County,” said County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy Esther Peralez-Dieckmann. “This report gives us powerful information to help those with influence and determination to take action and advocate for the well-being of women, families and the community.”
The goal of this report is to provide a baseline of information in key areas to build a platform by which the Office of Women’s Policy, in collaboration with the Commission on the Status of Women and community stakeholders, can launch a multi-year, countywide initiative to improve the status of women and girls.


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