Home » NEW; Progress & Challenges Facing Women in Central Texas

NEW; Progress & Challenges Facing Women in Central Texas

by Narges Mohammadi

AUSTIN, TEXAS/ “Women’s Issues are Community Issues“, a new report released by the Women’s Fund at Austin Community Foundation sheds light on what life is like for women and children living in Central Texas, including recent progress and challenges. According to the report, the gender pay gap in Texas persists, with men making nearly 40% more than women. For Central Texans, this leaves one in three women below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line, a common standard for determining eligibility for social services.

The new report examines the landscape of economic security for women and their families through four critical areas: child care, education, housing, and women’s health. The report also digs into the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women.

Additional data points from the report include:

  • The average cost for full-time child care in Austin is $12,240 annually. One in five Central Texas families is experiencing a childcare cost burden, meaning childcare costs exceed 7% of a household’s income.
  • 62% of children from low-income families were not considered Kindergarten-ready compared to 39% of higher-earning peers. No significant improvements have been made in this area over the last decade.
  • In Travis County, white women are three times more likely to live in owned homes than a rental compared to Black and Latina women.
  • Teen childbirths in Central Texas have declined since 2017, yet in some counties, like Caldwell and Bastrop, teen birth rates are higher than the national average.
  • In 2020, Black women were twice as likely as White peers to experience health issues related to pregnancy and childbirth.
  • The greatest departure from the workforce during the pandemic was women with children under six years old. In Central Texas, nearly 7% of mothers with children six and under left the workforce in a single year (2020).

“While some of the findings in Women’s Issues are Community Issues may be startling, they are not surprising to the women who call Central Texas home,” said Meagan Anderson Longley, vice president of community impact, Austin Community Foundation. “In releasing this report, we seek to bring more attention to these issues and inspire investment in the economic mobility of women and their families.”

Where Did This Idea Come From?

Women’s Issues are Community Issues was developed in collaboration with the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service CONNECT Fellows program at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. The RGK Center is leading the Austin Area Sustainability Indicators (A2SI) project, a community data initiative that tracks 128 regional indicators of community sustainability. The data in this report is pulled from the A2SI Community Survey and other publicly available data sources.

Data from this report will drive the philanthropic work of the Women’s Fund, a giving network at Austin Community Foundation that invests in women’s economic security in Central Texas. Since its founding in 2004, the fund has awarded over $3 million to more than 100 organizations across the region.

Source: austincf.org

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