Findings: The Status of Women in Missouri

Employment & Income

Many elements contribute to the understanding of women’s employment and income. For this research, data were collected on women in the labor force, unemployment and income rates, and the wage gap between male and female workers.

Employment and income are important predictors of a woman’s ability to provide for herself and her family. However, women who participate in the paid labor force are commonly met with lower wages than men. This income disparity limits a woman’s ability to create, or maintain personal revenue and wealth which has lasting impact on her life. Read full summary…


Education & Child Care

For the purpose of this report, the educational and child care realities of women in Missouri are investigated using data on female educational attainment, access to accredited child care, and grandparents as caregivers.

Educational attainment
Educational attainment is a predictor of a women’s ability to materially and financially provide for her children. Data has consistently shown that education, specifically two and four year college degree programs, can lift women from poverty, although there are barriers.1 For example, lower income women on social assistance are limited to only 12 months of vocational training and there are few support services available (i.e. transportation and child care) to help women succeed in new training endeavors. Education is not just critical to earning an income, but it also affects women’s health and daily lives. Women with less education, especially older black women, are more likely to be less healthy than their more educated counterparts.2 Read full summary…



Throughout the research process, data were collected on births, infant mortality and birth weights, cancer screenings and incidences of cancer, morbidity and mortality, domestic violence and access to health insurance. Collectively, these data help describe the status of women in terms of health. Read full summary…


Social & Economic Status

Poverty often is used to describe the socio-economic realities of women in Missouri. In addition, data on participation in social assistance programs and women with disabilities contribute to the understanding of the social and economic status of women.

Poor women are more vulnerable than the general population; they tend to face more unpredictable and life-threatening events than their wealthier counterparts. Poverty does not simply correlate to an inadequacy of wealth, but also to poor health. Impoverished women are highly likely to suffer from depression and other negative health outcomes.

There are almost 950,000 Missourians living in poverty, 55 percent (or 520,833) of whom are women. In Missouri, 17.41 percent of all women are in poverty, a rate similar to that of the nation (at 17.18 percent). Poverty is mainly concentrated in the larger urban areas of Missouri such as in St. Louis City where the poverty rate is 29 percent. However, rural areas also struggle with poverty as in Benton, Dallas, Hickory, Laclede, and Polk Counties, where more than 23 percent of the counties’ populations live in poverty. Read full summary…


Leadership & Public Engagement 

For this analysis of women’s leadership and public engagement in Missouri, data were collected on women’s political representation, volunteerism and voter turnout.

Public Engagement
Analysis of women’s leadership and public engagement in Missouri relies upon data reflecting women’s political representation, volunteerism, and voter turnout. Read full summary…


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