Through a number of strategies including grantmaking, advocacy, education, convening and leadership we work to enhance and improve economic self-sufficiency for women and girls in Kansas City lifting them out of poverty.
Today in the Kansas City metro area 80 percent of people living in poverty are women and their children. Women and their children make up 85 percent of the homeless population in Kansas City; nationwide they are the fastest growing segment of the homeless. A girl who doesn’t graduate from high school has a 90 percent chance of being poor and of passing the “legacy” of poverty to her children. Seventy-five percent of the elderly poor are women.
Fifty-one percent of the American population as well as the greater Kansas City population are female. In America women are more likely than men to be poor.
Why are women living in poverty?
- Women are paid less than men, even when they have the same qualifications and work the same hours. In the KC area, the average earned income for males is $47,088; while a woman working the same amount and conditions earned $35,609.
- Women are segregated into low paying occupations, and occupations dominated by women are low paid. Two-thirds of all minimum wage jobs are held by women. Forty percent of women who work outside the home still earn incomes below the poverty level.
- Women spend more time providing unpaid caregiving than men. Forty-seven percent of the women who work lack paid sick time to care for self or a child who is ill.
- Women are more likely to bear the costs of raising children. Pregnancy affects women’s work and educational opportunities more than men’s. A girl without a high school diploma has a 90 percent chance of being poor and raising children who will also live in poverty.
- Domestic and sexual violence can push women into a cycle of poverty.