CU hosts women's commission director

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Eleanor Jordan speaks on equality for women.


Jessica Mayes

Campbellsville University

"My job is to find out what is happening with women in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and find out how I can make it better."

That's how Eleanor Jordan, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Women, described her job during a program sponsored by the Kentucky Heartland Institute on Public Policy earlier this month in recognition of Women's History Month.

"It really is a blessing to be the director of the commission on women," Jordan said. "This is the only position I would readily commute an hour a day to."

Jordan touched on many issues that not only affect women nationally, but also in Kentucky.

The commission helps get the message out to women about how they are being treated, Jordan said"

"Women are not fairing well in Kentucky, compared to the rest of the nation," Jordan said.

"Kentucky is the third worst state for women to live in, and we have been the third worst state in America for 11 years."

Jordan listed several reasons why Kentucky needs a commission on women to help make Kentucky a better place for women to live.

"Kentucky is ranked at the bottom for good health, mental health and obesity for women in the nation," Jordan said.

"Women in Eastern Kentucky contract and die from cervical cancer at a rate higher than the nation's average and that of the women in Afghanistan, Pakistan and China," she said.

Pay equity and comparable pay was another subject Jordan touched on. She said a woman on average is paid 77 cents for every dollar a man is nationwide. The average in Kentucky, she said, is lower at 74 cents for every dollar.

Jordan said the "Kentucky Women Project" which began in August of last year on the 90th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote, was a major step forward for all women.

The project has several goals, she said, including: to gather untold stories from courageous women, to create tool kits for teachers and women and to help with the Women's Distinction Component.

Jordan believes the fight for equality is still going on today, and it takes the voices of courageous people to stand up for what is right.

"I see it every day," Jordan said.

"Gender bias is real. I hope you recognize it and become the lone courageous voice to end it."