September 11, 2018
Written by Shani Ealey, Communications Manager
“If we do not keep intersectional feminism in mind in our analysis and policy considerations, we simply will not be able to fix the problems that our community is facing.” – Anna Nti-Asare-Tubbs
Earlier this year, a 110-page “Report on the Status of Women in Stockton” was released providing a comprehensive overview of how women are doing in Stockton compared to other geographic areas. Spearheaded by University of Cambridge doctoral student and youth educator Anna Nti-Asare-Tubbs and Sukhi Samra, Policy Analyst for the Office of Mayor Michael Tubbs, the report was created in order to bring the issues and concerns of women living in Stockton to the forefront of the conversations surrounding equity, social justice, and investment in Stockton. This initiative was done in partnership with the Office of Mayor Michael Tubbs and the San Joaquin Data Co-Op.
Why produce a report focused on women in Stockton? “Well it is becoming clearer and clearer that certain issues affecting women have for too long been ignored,” said Anna Nti-Asare-Tubbs. “We see it in current discussions surrounding the #metoo movement. We witness it every time women’s rights are challenged.” The idea of the report came about during the mayoral campaign efforts of Michael Tubbs when Anna began noticing that the concerns of women were often absent from campaign events and debates.
Anna wholeheartedly believes that when we pay attention and support efforts that work to address women’s issues, entire communities are able to transform and thrive. The report is full of data providing information on the demographics, education, employment & income, health & well-being, crime, and personal safety of women living in Stockton. One of the findings highlights the income disparities between single-parent households. According to the report, female-headed families made up 33.3% of the households with children under the age of 18. There are more children in single-parent family households in Stockton in comparison to the county, state, and the nation. Of the female-headed families with children in Stockton, 56.4% have an income less than $25,000. “If we do not keep intersectional feminism in mind in our analysis and policy considerations, we simply will not be able to fix the problems that our community is facing,” Anna Nti-Asare-Tubbs says.
That makes this report a powerful resource, beyond the data, is that we get to hear directly from women and girls in Stockton exactly what they need in order to live lives where they can thrive and succeed. In addition to the U.S Census Bureau data and survey responses featured in the report, Anna and her team also conducted five focus groups in various areas throughout Stockton. During the focus group discussions women in Stockton revealed that there is a lack of childcare, mentoring, and safe places. Some of the key needs they expressed are wanting better paying jobs, addressing intergenerational poverty, more human trafficking prevention, housing for middle/working class, and counseling services at schools for youth.
In the teen focus groups, some of the concerns that came up for young women were centered around safety. Youth members of the focus group expressed wanting to be able to walk to school safely and have lunch off campus without being harassed, more camaraderie between young women and girls, addressing “slut shaming” and “drama” at schools, improving sex education and traditional notions around gender roles and expectations.
So why it is important to have data that is clearly centered on gender and concerns of women? According to Anna, “It is simply time that we do.” Resources such as the “Report on the Status of Women” and “The Women’s Well-Being Index” are essential tools for moving forward the type of policy changes and investments that truly seek to address the economic inequities and social injustices that women experience.
It is essential that we actually listen and act on what women and girls are saying. Across California, women, girls, queer and trans folks, working class folks, immigrant women, and women with disabilities are all speaking out and demanding change. Not superficial and symbolic change that has no follow through. But the kind of change that is radical. Meaning to grasp the problem at the root and truly transform the attitudes, thoughts, and actions that have been normalized for generations and generations. We must continue to center the concerns and experiences of women so that we can begin to create the kind of communities that challenge harmful gender expectations and norms. In our policy advocacy work, we must continue to center the voices and experiences of those most impacted and trust that they know what is best for their communities. We must invest in community leaders and organizations that are organizing their communities to think, act, and show up differently. This is absolutely critical if we are to keep each other and our loved ones safe, healthy, and economically secure.
Read the full report here “Report on the Status of Women in Stockton”
Want key statistics and findings on well-being of women in your area? Visit the “Women’s Well-Being Index”