This Saturday, August 26, marks the anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment as well as Women’s Equality Day. As we reflect on the occasion, how does Missouri measure up on gender equality?
Since 2004 Missouri women have made huge strides in academic and career achievements:
- While in 2004 only 20.3% of Missouri women had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, by 2018 that figure rose to 29.4%.
- In the same years, Missouri women employed in managerial or professional positions increased from 35.1% to 40.1%.
But these achievements haven’t translated into economic outcomes.
- While in 2004 only 11.1% of Missouri women lived in poverty, that figure has increased to 15.5% compared to men’s 13.3%.
- As of 2021, Missouri women only make 83% of what Missouri men make.
There are several ways Missouri could fix the gender wage gap, many of which would also help Missouri men and families. The legislature could address Missouri’s child care deserts, allowing more women the opportunity to work without worrying about who will take care of their children. And voting in favor of the initiative to raise the minimum wage and provide earned family and sick leave will close the gap even further.
Missouri women are working harder and achieving more than ever before – isn’t it time their pay reflects that?