The 2019 report on the Status of Women in San Antonio shows significant and serious discrepancies facing women in areas ranging from crime to economic advancement to education, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Perhaps the most serious area mentioned in the report, which was presented to a City Council work session, is in crime.
The homicide rate of women in Bexar County doubled between 2015 and 2017, Bexar County now has the highest murder rate for women of any major county in the state.
Deaths of women at the hands of intimate partner violence are also on the increase, growing steadily every year this decade, and tripling since 2013.
San Antonio also has the highest rate of rape of any major county in Texas, 75 per 100,000 women, compared, for example, with 61 per hundred thousand in Dallas and 36 in Houston.
"Research shows that violence against women is directly related to levels of gender inequality in a society," the report concluded.
Female members of City Council were quick to condemn the findings in the report.
“This is a sobering report that every San Antonian needs to be familiar with. Too often, we talk about gender inequality as if we ended it decades ago. This report makes clear that our work is far from over," Councilwoman Ana Sandoval said. “If women are not okay, we as a city are not okay. Women are our daughters, mothers, and sisters—often our caretakers and always the anchors in our communities. We owe it to every woman in San Antonio to ensure their safety and prosperity.”
The report shows that the efforts toward 'gender equity' on City boards and commissions are having an impact, with 44% of people on city appointed boards now female. But Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, who along with Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, pushed for the equity appointment process, says the work is far from over in that area, pointing out taht women account for 53 percent of the city's registered voters, and there are still numerous boards and commissions which are entirely male.
"As of today we know for a fact what we intuitively knew all along, the status of women in San Antonio is distressfully deficient," Gonzales said. "We also know now that in order to fix the problem a tremendous amount of work lies ahead; we know that we should concentrate our efforts on several fronts - health & wellbeing, economic well-being, political participation, violence and safety; we see that the first step must be taken in our coming budget discussions; and we know that we can only accomplish this task with the entire community's backing."
The report also investigated the earnings made by women in San Antonio compared to men, and used the highest educated women in the city as an example.
"In San Antonio, the median earnings of both men and women rise with level of education. However, at each educational level, median earnings of men are higher than women. For example, among the most educated workers: women make only 72 cents for every $1 men make," the report stated.
Women also lag men in education in STEM fields, which are the highest paid jobs in the city today. But the reprot points out that women are far less likely to drop out of high school than are young men.