The Texas Women’s Foundation (TWF) produced a report in May 2014 titled the “Economic Issues for Women in Texas,” which highlights the changing demographics of the state, compelling community organizations, policymakers, and other stakeholders to be proactive. The TWF’s study included a series of metro reports, including El Paso and comparing it with Amarillo, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, McAllen, San Antonio, and Tyler. For the more than 431,000 women and girls living in the El Paso Metro area, including the El Paso and Hudspeth Counties:
- - 32% of households are headed by females and represent 53% of households living in poverty.
- - 71% of jobs in the El Paso metro area pay less than $36,360 per year, which does not sustain a single mom with one child.
- - Over 116,000 women and girls in the El Paso metro area do not have health insurance.
- - 2,583 children received financial assistance for childcare, but 42,291 would likely be eligible for aid.
- - High costs of housing make it difficult to afford other basic needs, such as food, clothing, transportation, and medical care.
- - The housing burden is highest for single mothers, with 71% spending at least 30% of their income on housing.
Goals & Objectives
After evaluating the TWF’s findings for the El Paso Metro Area, and in light of prior findings from local community forums, this report provides insights to address the knowledge gaps regarding the lived realities of Latinas in El Paso, Texas. To that end, Wise Latina International (WLI) in partnership with MerKadoTeknia Research and Consulting, faculty from the University of Texas at El Paso and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension conducted a qualitative study. By collecting the narratives of Latinas, we sought to identify successful coping strategies as well as barriers to success women in El Paso are currently facing. In addition to personal and external factors Latinas contend with, these narratives describe the resources women access to deal with challenges faced in four key areas:
- - Economic Opportunities and Challenges
- - Health
- - Education
- - Housing and childcare