The rate of violence perpetrated against women and the state’s pervasive problems with domestic violence and sexual assault are alarming. Louisiana is ranked second in the nation (Source: Violence Policy Center) for women murdered by an intimate partner and more than 5,000 women1 will be victims of domestic violence in Louisiana this year. Until 2015, Louisiana lacked statewide policies to care for victims of sexual assault. Despite legislative packages in the 2014 and 2015 sessions designed to provide better support and protection for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, stronger policies are needed along with added services and increased public awareness.
Ignite is committed to increasing the number of women choosing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Currently in Louisiana, men earn two thirds of all STEM degrees, and in bachelor engineering programs, the state graduates six times as many men as women2. Individuals who enter STEM fields earn 35% more after graduation and 47% more at mid career than those in non-STEM fields3. Ignite will push for additional resources and educational outreach to increase the number of women entering STEM fields.
The state of women’s health in Louisiana is unacceptable. In fact, national studies prove it. Louisiana received the letter grade of “F” for women’s health and well-being4. Louisiana remains in the top five for both breast and cervical cancer mortality rates5. Ignite is committed to advancing policies and programs that will increase access to healthcare for women, particularly low income women, and heighten educational outreach to promote healthy families.
Ignite believes in supporting families with tools and resources to help them succeed, including good-paying jobs, equal pay for equal work and policies that help families thrive. More than one in five women and girls in Louisiana are living in poverty6. Louisiana ranks 49 in the U.S. when it comes to equal pay. Women earn 68 cents on the dollar7. Legislation is needed to strengthen the state’s equal pay laws, but educational and training resources are also needed to help women understand their rights, negotiate salaries and advance in the workplace.