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Women in America: Investing in what works

In "Women in America: Investing in what works," Jack Lew, Director of the Office of Management and Budget discusses the White House release of the new report "Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being."

At a time when the Government is striving to do more with less, it is more important than ever to ensure we are investing in what works.

This week, the White House released a new report entitled Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being, receiving well-deserved and wide attention. Women in America compiles statistics from across the Federal government that indicate how women are faring in the United States today and how their lives have changed over time.  This is the first comprehensive federal report on women since 1963, when the Commission on the Status of Women, established by President Kennedy and chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, produced a report on the conditions of women.

One of the Office of Management and Budget’s roles is to oversee the Federal statistical system—a range of agencies that produce the data that drive what we do as a government. In that role, we initiated this data project and worked with the Economics and Statistics Administration within the Department of Commerce and the Federal statistical agencies to create Women in America in support of the White House Council on Women and Girls (CWG).

Of course, the report only touches upon a few of the many indicators collected by the federal government concerning the lives of women.  In order to facilitate public access to these broader resources, we have compiled on the CWG website  links to many other reports, and sections of reports, related to women produced by the federal statistical agencies, making it easier than ever for policymakers, journalists, researchers, and interested members of the public to get the facts.

The project is consistent with the Obama Administration’s commitments to pursuing evidence-based policymaking; to partnering with the private sector - including academic researchers - to analyze data and formulate policy; and to pursuing a comprehensive, cross-agency approach to addressing special issues affecting Americans.

The tough fiscal situation necessitates doing more with less, not only to reduce budget deficits, but ensure that taxpayers are receiving maximum value for their hard-earned dollars. By gathering and consolidating the data gathered across the Administration, we can learn more about how services and programs are impacting lives. Armed with the facts, we can target our resources to deliver the best results for women, families, and all Americans.

Jack Lew is the Director of the Office of Management and Budget