Six students and faculty from the West Virginia University Center for Women’s and Gender Studies will travel to Charleston, W.Va., to participate in the many events to take place on Tuesday, March 5, and Wednesday, March 6, in celebration of Women’s Day at the Legislature, organized by the West Virginia Women’s Commission.

The two-day event is comprised of informational sessions, with topics including finances, what the Affordable Care Act means for women, substance abuse, and more. The conference is intended to encourage participation, leadership and advocacy of women by offering the opportunity to attend committee activities and floor sessions and visit with legislators.

An integral part of the student’s visit will be a press conference on Wednesday, March 6, to celebrate the launch of the 2013 Status of Women and Girls in West Virginia report.

The report, published every 10 years by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research for each of the 50 states aims to highlight women’s progress and the obstacles they continue to face, and to encourage policy and programmatic changes that can improve women’s opportunities.

This year’s report is the product of research and analysis from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, West Virginia Women’s Commission, WVU Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and agencies from across the state with an interest in women’s policy issues.

Ally Sobey, a master’s student in the WVU geography program concurrently pursuing a graduate certificate in women’s and gender studies, helped by compiling and analyzing data on various socio-economic aspects of women in West Virginia. Her analysis and the various maps she created will be included in the report.

“The focus on policy and positive interventions will work to improve the workplace, education, households and the overall climate for women and girls in West Virginia,” Ann Oberhauser, director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies said when asked about the importance of the report.

The Status of Women and Girls in West Virginia will focus specifically on employment and earnings, economic security and poverty and health and well-being as they pertain to women in the state and throughout the Appalachia Region.

It is hoped that the wealth of data, information and analysis of women and gender in many aspects of this state will assist in policy and decision-making, education, government planning and business development.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research conducts rigorous research and disseminates its finding to address the needs of women, promote public dialogue and strengthen families, communities and societies. The Institute works with policymakers, scholars, and public interest groups to design, execute and disseminate research that illuminates economic and social policy issues affecting women and their families.

The Center for Women’s and Gender Studies supports teaching, research and advocacy that is based on feminist perspectives and centered on analyses of gender and its intersection with race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age and ability.

For more information, contact the Center at



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