North Carolina Women’s Health and Wellness Update

Federation Friday: Volume 2, Issue 5 - August 2, 2019

North Carolina Women’s Health Report 

The Governor released an independent report, the 2nd in a four-part series, commissioned from The Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The results, first presented in Asheville at the Mountain Area Health Education Center, are being presented across the state. The research utilized data from organizations like the American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health. The findings show that we have much work to do.

The results of the 2019 Status of Women Report include: 

  • NC ranks 11th highest in infant mortality and 9th highest in stroke mortality among women. The problem is worse in rural areas and for women of color. 
  • NC’s mortality rates for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and breast cancer have decreased since the 2013 report. 
  • In NC, more than one-third of women have experienced some type of domestic violence from an intimate partner. 
  • NC ranks in the middle or bottom on indicators of health and wellness among the 50 states and DC. 
  • NC’s best ranking is for heart disease mortality (27th out of 51). 
  • NC’s worst ranking is for AIDS diagnoses (44th). 
  • There are wide disparities in North Carolina women’s disease mortality rates by race and ethnicity. The heart disease rate and breast cancer mortality rate among Black women in NC is more than three times higher than the rate of Hispanic women, the racial and ethnic group with the lowest rate. 

Overall the grade was a D, and we all know that means we are barely passing. There are many things we can do: invest in our own personal health as well as the health of others, advocate for access to healthcare, and register to vote.

“Women have a lot to say about how to advance women’s rights, and governments need to learn from that, listen to the movement and respond.”                  – Charlotte Brunch 

Employment and Earnings Report 

The first report in this four-part series, “The Status of Women in North Carolina: Employment & Earnings,” was released in 2018. Unfortunately, it revealed that North Carolina has a 19 percent wage gap between women and men, and it ranks in the bottom third in the nation in women’s workforce participation. 

Results vary by county, but rural counties have the widest gap in wages, while Durham County has the smallest gap at 96%. Durham County attributes this small gap to the county’s politics, including its progressive minimum wage and family leave policies. Durham was one of the first counties in NC to pass the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Resolution. 

The third report in the series will focus on factors related to women’s economic security and opportunity, and the fourth report will focus on women’s political participation. 

Continue to advocate, educate and promote Women’s Health and Wellness! 



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