Highlights. El Paso Portraits: Women’s Lives, Potential and Opportunities is the result of a study prepared by the YWCA El Paso Del Norte Region and University of Texas at El Paso to assess the state of women in the El Paso community. It was created to provide applied research to non-profit organizations and public policy makers to help them develop the resources, programs and policies needed to improve the lives of women and girls in our community.
Women in El Paso. El Paso’s location on the U.S./Mexico border makes it and the women who live here distinct and unique when compared to the rest of Texas and the nation. El Paso is predominantly a Hispanic community.
- 78% of the population claims Mexican heritage.
- 16 % of El Paso Females are Non-Hispanic White, 2.5% are Black and 1.1% are Asian-American.
Women in the El Paso Economy. The per capita income in El Paso County is one of the lowest in the country. The percentage of the population with earnings above $17, 449 is larger for males in every income bracket than for females. An even bigger discrepancy is found between incomes and ethnicity.
- The median income for Hispanic women in El Paso in 1999 was $11,314; $15,9222 fro Non-Hispanic White women; $18,234 for Hispanic men; and $30,594 for Non-Hispanic White men.
Education is a key factor in providing access to the workplace and determining a worker’s salary. In the past, the El Paso economy relied on the manufacturing sector. The requirements to work in the manufacturing sector, many times, did not include a high school diploma or English proficiency. Now El Paso’s economy is working on restructuring to higher paying jobs that require an education.
- 24% of women in El Paso who are 18 years of age and older have less than a 9th grade education, which is more than twice females in Texas (11%) and more than three times females in the (7%) United States.
- Almost half of unmarried mothers have less than a high school diploma.
- Only one out of five women has any type of college degree.
Women make up 45% of El Paso County’s labor force. Almost twice as many women in El Paso as in Texas or the U.S. are employable yet are presently unemployed and are looking for work. Women in El Paso are most present in sales and service occupations. Many more women would be interested in owning their own business but say that lack of money; education and time are reasons for not doing so. Women-owned businesses are growing and thriving - there are over 8000 female-owned businesses that employ 37,000 persons.
- Women experienced the greatest number of job losses due to NAFTA.
- 23.3% of all El Paso firms are owned by women.
El Paso Women in Their Homes. It is extremely difficult to raise and financially support a family for single mothers who are often the sole source for income, domestic chores and care of children.
- In El Paso, 38,000 households are female-headed.
- Teen pregnancy is 15% higher in El Paso compared to the rest of Texas.
- As many as 5,000 children from low-income working families are on a waiting list for child care services at any one time.
El Paso Women’s Health and Well Being. According to the Texas Department of Health, unmarried mothers accounted for 33.8% of all births compared to 30.6 % in Texas.
- 46% of unmarried mothers in El Paso have less than a high school diploma, making it extremely difficult for them to provide for their families in an appropriate manner.
- More than half of all women in El Paso County do not have health insurance.
The El Paso Police Department receives and estimated 28,000 calls every year asking them to respond to domestic disturbances.
- 80% of the victims of domestic violence in El Paso are women.
- According to the El Paso Police Department , domestic violence related deaths make up approximately 39% of murders each year.
Women in the El Paso Community. More than a third of women surveyed felt that women’s issues were not well represented in the El Paso community.
- The El Paso County elections Department List of Elected Officials states that at the end of 2003, only 31% of local elected officials were women.
- Less than one out of five civic organization members are female.
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