- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2016

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Women in Kansas who work full-time, year-round earn 79 cents for every dollar made by men, according to recent findings released by the Women’s Foundation.

“That just seems silly,” said Mary Akerstrom, with the Topeka chapter of the National Organization for Women. “It’s just one more brick in the patriarchy to keep women at a status that’s less than men.”

The University of Kansas’ Center for Science and Technology & Economic Policy was commissioned by the Women’s Foundation to analyze factors such as economic well-being, health and civic engagement of women across the state, the Topeka Capital Journal (https://bit.ly/21r5pgr ) reported.

The report, titled “Status of Women in Kansas,” found that the median earnings of women who work full-time, year-round is about $35,560 annually. Johnson County has the highest median earnings for women, while Gove County has the lowest.

Women account for 49.1 percent of the employed individuals in Kansas. They hold fewer management positions and are much less likely than men to be self-employed or to own a business, according to the study.

Additionally, the report determined that 39 percent of the state’s single-mother households are in poverty, and that child poverty in Kansas has doubled since 2000.

Donna Ginther, director of the Center for Science Technology & Economic Policy, said she was particularly surprised at the cost of child care in Kansas, which is 1.1 to 1.5 times more expensive than in-state college tuition.

“It’s a troubling issue,” said Akerstrom, who worked in child care for about 10 years. “Child care is a very big hurdle for people living in poverty.”

Women in Kansas also have “significantly” less access to preventative health screenings, the report said.

The study concludes that “alternative policies that facilitate the empowerment of Kansas women and the growth of the Kansas economy should be implemented.”

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com


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