News from the Office on the Status of Women - April 2018

iowa department of human rights

April 2018

News from the
Office on the Status of Women

Embrace Your Voice

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Did you know that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men experience sexual violence in their lifetime?

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and this year's theme is "Embrace Your Voice." This year's campaign aims to empower individuals to speak up and speak out about sexual violence. 

By using the power of one's voice, they can influence the change in society to create a culture of respect, equality, and safety. 

Throughout this month, several organizations are hosting events to raise awareness about sexual violence in Iowa. For a list of some of these events, visit: 

(Statistics from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center or NSVRC)

April 10, 2018 is Equal Pay Day for all U.S. women


April 10, 2018 marks how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. Women in the U.S. who work full time, year round are typically paid only 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. This varies by state (location of residence) and race/ethnicity. 

Want to learn more? Visit:

Women in Iowa: 2018 Data Report Available

The State Data Center of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Human Rights' Office on the Status of Women have released the "Women in Iowa: 2018 Data Report." To view the full report, visit:

Women in Iowa 2018 report

A big thank you...

We would like to say thank you to the chair of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women (ICSW) Phyllis Peters, who had her last official commission meeting in March. Phyllis has actively served on the ICSW since 2008, most recently serving as Chair. Over the years, Phyllis has been a leading voice for women in the state of Iowa, and has been a champion for women's leadership and access to opportunity. She has also been an incredibly hard worker, with a passion for service that will be greatly missed. 

Thank you, Phyllis, for everything you have done over the last decade on the ICSW. 

Phyllis and San

New Faces in the Office

The Office on the Status of Women has recently hired two new interns who have been doing various things over the last couple of months to help out around the office. 

Here's a little bit about them in their own words:

Carolyn Green, Iowa State University

Carolyn Green

I am a senior at Iowa State University graduating this upcoming May with degrees in Political Science and Spanish. In college, I have been an active member of Delta Delta Delta and St. Jude Up Til Dawn. During the fall semester of 2017, I studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain for three months and witnessed first-hand the independence political movement within the region. During that time, I studied the United Nations, Contemporary Art, and Spanish while living with a host-mom. This opportunity to fully embrace another culture and language made me realize my love for travel and adventure--as well as my never-ending desire to try new food. After my time abroad I returned home just in time to spend the holidays with my family in Minnesota before moving back in to my sorority house.

I am hopeful that my time interning with the Office on the Status of Women will help me understand state-level processes better within the government, better my skills working with advocacy and communications work, and help me narrow down what I want to do upon graduation…Although I’m a senior, the details are still fuzzy!

This year has been an absolute whirlwind, but it has helped me to better understand what I want out of both life and a career. I have known for years that I ultimately want to do fieldwork abroad through an NGO, but it wasn’t until my semester in Barcelona and this internship that I truly considered it a possibility. Upon graduation, I hope to start with advocacy and move toward broader topics like education, reproductive rights, and gender equality.

Brett Norris, Grand View University

Brett Norris (Cropped)

I am currently a sophomore at Grand View University, where I am double majoring in Political Science and English. I am a writing center tutor at Grand View, and am also a member of the Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Chi honor societies. Outside of school I like to play baseball, go golfing, skateboard, and read comic books. I also really enjoy political satire shows like the Daily Show and Last Week Tonight. These kinds of shows are a large part of what sparked my interest in politics and government.

From this internship I am hoping to see first-hand how our state government operates on a day-to-day basis, and what some departments, such as this one, are doing to assist underrepresented groups of people in Iowa. 

After I graduate from Grand View, I plan to either go straight into a graduate program to work towards an advanced degree, or begin working in the public service field to gain more real world experience before furthering my education. In either case, I would like to eventually find myself in a vocation that allows me to help make peoples' lives better. 

Share your story with us:
"Iowa Women at Work" Storytelling Project

Iowa Women at Work project
For more information, visit:

If you would like to submit a story to our project, click here. Stories will be reviewed and may be edited for clarity. However, submissions will be returned to the author for approval following any editing. After review, the stories will be released in a collection to the public in winter 2019. 

In the News: Women and girls in Iowa, the nation & the world

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International News

Upcoming Events/Seminars

Note: If you have an event taking place for women in Iowa that you would like to see added, please send it to