Initial findings from research on status of Missouri women indicate areas for solutions

Findings Highlight Areas of Gender Inequity,
Other Issues Holding Back Missouri Women and Their Families 

Kansas city, MO – Today the Women’s Foundation previewed findings from a statewide research project which show there is much work to be done to improve the lives of Missouri’s women and their families.  The extensive project has included focus groups, a research study conducted by academic experts from the University of Missouri, and will include an interactive database.

The research study, conducted in partnership with the University of Missouri’s Truman School of Public Affairs, explored areas of need for Missouri women, and the initial findings include: 

  •  In Missouri, women who work full-time earn 29 percent less than male workers for the same work.
  •  In Missouri, 27 percent of counties lack any accredited child care centers, including three counties with the highest number of children aged 0-4.
  • At least 650,000 Missourians or 13.6 percent are without health insurance, and in some Missouri counties, more than one fifth of the population is uninsured.
  • In Missouri, more than nine percent of seniors are in poverty; two-thirds of whom are women.
  •  Although women comprise 51 percent of the state’s population, only 25 percent of seats in the General Assembly – where state laws are made – are held by women.

“Understanding the unique challenges faced by women is the first step toward addressing these problems with real, actionable solutions,” said Wendy Doyle, President & CEO of the Women’s Foundation.  “The Women’s Foundation will be using the results of this project to work towards policy solutions that help raise up women and their families.”

The initial findings of the statewide research study were announced at a press conference on Friday featuring Wendy Doyle of the Women’s Foundation, Dr. Brian Dabson and Jacqueline Schumacher of the MU Truman School, Jack Ovel of Bank of America, State Rep. Anne Zerr (R-65) and Secretary of State Jason Kander (D). After the press conference, the Women’s Foundation hosted their 22nd Annual Luncheon, featuring former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as their 2014 guest speaker.    

The full research study as well as an innovative online research platform operated by the Center for Applied Research in Economics (CARES) will be released in January 2015. The CARES platform combines economic and social data from around the country in a single, easy-to-access online portal. The findings will provide the Women’s Foundation with lead indicators on the status of Missouri women, allowing them to work toward and create change by ensuring that these issues are addressed at the state and local levels.

The Women’s Foundation promotes equity and opportunity for women and girls, using philanthropy, research and policy solutions to make meaningful change.  More information about the organization can be found at