In Partnership with The 74

New report for Garcetti paints a grim picture for LA girls, women

Vanessa Romo | April 1, 2015



Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

A quarter of women living in Los Angeles do not hold a high school diploma, almost twice the number of women nationally, according to a new study focusing on issues affecting the women and girls of LA.

The report, called the Status of Women and Girls in Los Angeles, was produced by Mount Saint Mary’s University and commissioned by Mayor Eric Garcetti to “guide policymaking to address economic, social, and other inequalities facing women.”

The results, released yesterday, examined gender equity in the areas of demographics and leadership, with the general conclusion that women in LA are less educated than women nationally, and they are more likely to live in poverty than their male counterparts locally —  findings that reflect, in part, the experiences of female students in LA Unified.

“For too long, our women and girls have been left behind and counted out, and I want Los Angeles to lead in employing and empowering women,” Garcetti said in a statement.   “This first-of-its-kind report provides us with important information that will help us develop a plan of attack to address gender inequality and the issues affecting women in our city, which will improve our overall economy and quality of life.”

A few key findings include:

  • Women of color comprise 72 percent of LA’s female population, with Latinas representing 48 percent of all women in the City.
  • Twenty-five percent of all LA women, 25 years and older, do not have a high school degree, compared with 13 percent nationally.
  • Sixty-three percent of LA women have not attained a post-secondary degree, compared with 62 percent nationally.
  • Nearly 90 percent of K-12 age girls attend public schools, and girls graduate from high school at a higher rate than boys at the city, county and state levels.
  • Thirty percent of all LA women under the age of 18 live in poverty.
  • The LA poverty rate for single mothers raising children under the age of five is 49 percent – four times greater than the rate for married couples.
  • LA women’s median earnings are $25,557 versus $30,399 for men, meaning women earn $0.84 for every $1.00 a man earns.

The initial findings are only the first two parts of a five-part report. Studies on Education and Workforce Development, Public Safety, and L.A.’s Veterans will be released in the coming weeks.

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