Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Springfield Part of Statewide Study Identifying Issues for Missouri’s Women

Women’s Foundation

Initial findings of a statewide study looking into issues for Missouri women and their families were released today. Springfield was a key part of the study aimed at gaining a deeper understanding on areas of need. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has more.

Among the findings are that the females in the state working full-time earn 29 percent less than their male counterparts. Additionally, Missouri as a whole is actually last in child care, as 27 percent of counties lack accredited child care.

Wendy Doyle is the president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation.

“What we’ve learned from Springfield clearly—number one—regardless of income level was child care.  Child care continues to be an issue from accessibility for low income to quality on the mid to upper income,” says Doyle.

The research, which began this summer, was conducted in partnership between the University of Missouri’s Truman School of Public Affairs and the Women’s Foundation. Doyle says it has been quite some time since a comprehensive study like this has been done.  She says the study utilized focus groups in several regions of the state including Springfield.

“We focus grouped low income and mid to upper income women because we really wanted to hear clearly what the issues are that women of Springfield were dealing with,” Doyle says.

Healthcare was Springfield’s second biggest identified problem, says Doyle, regarding accessibility, preventative health care, and mental health. 

Other findings show 13 percent of Missourians are without health insurance, a majority of the nine percent of seniors living in poverty are women, and only 25 percent of seats in the Missouri General Assembly are held by women.

Doyle says what they have learned brings awareness to several issues, which will be prioritized to begin focusing on changes in policy.

The data released today were initial findings of the study. 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 and will continue to be updated in real time.  A follow up study is planned to take place in 3 to 5 years.

Theresa received her undergraduate degree in sociology at Missouri State University, as well as her Master's degree in Social Work at MSU. Theresa enjoys writing, drawing, reading, music, working with animals, and most of all spending time with her family. She wishes to continue to use her experiences, combined with her pursuit of education, to foster a sense of empowerment and social awareness in the community. Theresa loves working with KSMU and attributes her passion for NPR, and love of learning, to her father.