Santa Barbara Gender Equality Examined

Report Released Ahead of Feminist Gloria Steinem’s Visit

Thursday, February 13, 2014
Article Tools
Print friendly
E-mail story
Tip Us Off
iPod friendly
Share Article

Despite the high visibility of powerful Santa Barbara women — Rep. Lois Capps, State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, District Attorney Joyce Dudley, Mayor Helene Schneider, and so on — and the fact that females make up 54 percent of county voters, only 30 percent of our elected positions are filled by women. That’s one of the findings put forth in a recent Orfalea Foundation study, which compiled statistics on education, poverty, child care, and compensation rates in Santa Barbara and was released ahead of feminist Gloria Steinem’s visit to the Arlington Theatre this Thursday.

Santa Barbara teen pregnancy rates have decreased overall in recent years, but the Latina teen pregnancy rate is 14 times higher than that of white females, the study shows. A single mother earning minimum wage spends, on average, 81 percent of her salary on child-care costs. Of the 412,871 people living in the county in 2012, 10.6 percent were employed women living below the poverty line, compared to 7.4 percent of men. “Clearly, there’s a long way to go,” said 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr, adding she has seen enormous strides for women since she was a teenager. “I played sports in high school when it wasn’t cool.”

Nine females have sat on the County Board of Supervisors since the first woman was elected to the position in 1989. Former Santa Barbara County CEO Chandra Wallar became the first woman appointed to the chief spot in 2010, and she was recently replaced by Mona Miyasato. At the Santa Barbara city level, women have held administrator positions in the Public Works, Airport, and Parks and Recreation departments and have served as mayor for much of the last three decades. Of the 89 city firefighters, three are women. The police department employs 21 female officers — three sergeants — out of 143 sworn personnel. And of the 616 Sheriff’s Office employees, 166 are females. Violence against women is lower in the county compared to the rest of the state, according to the study.

President Barack Obama recently reminded Americans that women make up about half of the national workforce, but only earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. In Santa Barbara, women make up 39 percent of the workforce and earn 81 cents to the male’s dollar. There are 11,000 women-owned businesses, or 28 percent of all businesses in the county. “There’s less overt discrimination and much more structural discrimination,” said UCSB Feminist Studies Department Chair Eileen Boris, who has sat on the board of CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy). “[Santa Barbara] might be a special place, but the county as a whole exemplifies the two Americas. That is incredibly dangerous for the health of democracy.” ­


Independent Discussion Guidelines

"Gender quality" or "Gender EQuality"? Was it just a typo?

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
February 13, 2014 at 5:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

read all about Gloria right here!!

what a woman!!

audidriver2010 (anonymous profile)
February 13, 2014 at 9:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Our president reminding us about the wage gap is a total joke.. even women know this

audidriver2010 (anonymous profile)
February 13, 2014 at 9:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Be nice were the Indie to start telling the truth about sex and (genuine) gender for a change. To publish bigoted-gender feminist propaganda as news while totally ignoring reality is utterly offensive journalism. The only thing worse than what commonly passes for objective journalism these days is to see rich men bringing feebleminded fascist man-haters like Gloria Steinem to town.

Sealion (anonymous profile)
February 13, 2014 at 10:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"...women make up about half of the national workforce, but only earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. "

This miss-representation of the facts is getting SO old, and politicians and journalist, much like the lemmings that they are, just continue to chirp the line without ever asking where and how that stat is derived, AND most importantly what it does NOT take into account.

Shame on the Independent for NOT thinking before repeating it again !

yendopostal (anonymous profile)
February 13, 2014 at 10:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

From the title, I thought that the quality of our females was in question here.

Botany (anonymous profile)
February 13, 2014 at 10:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Every woman should have the unabridged right to hire someone to kill the living human inside her for any reason she pleases (including the 93% of abortions that Planned Parenthood self-reports are for reasons of convenience) and at any time during her pregnancy without the father or sex-partner's knowledge or permission.

After all, her up to 24 week terminated pregnancy is only an organ/tissue/seed/bodypart/unfeeling and doesn't have a heart/unique genes/nervous system and there are no waiting adoption parents, charities to help her through her pregancy and definitely zero government services and benefits if she chooses to keep the "tissue" since "tissue" doesn't qualify for WIC, food stamps, EITC, free state health care, etc.

It's also really, really, really tough to raise a child when you are poor (everyone agrees this is a perfectly acceptable reason to kill a living human inside you) and no woman who has sex and is poor knows that she is poor before or during intercourse and subsequent pregnancies. She only knows this after waiting 24 weeks (6 months) to decide to get an abortion - she needs *at least 6 months* to make the decision. So Pro-Choice people are clearly radical and woman-hating.

realitycheck88 (anonymous profile)
February 13, 2014 at 11:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

As a man I'm tired of how much money I pay in taxes ..only to have it dispersed unequally and misused by women.. Since men work more, make more in general and work all of their lives til the day they are either killed at work, die of natural causes or retire.... we are "tax whales" a never ending supply of money to the IRS.. its so Matrix-like.. instead of electricity its money!
Women by far pay less in taxes their entire live but reap all the benefits.. by living usually 6 to 7years longer on average than men..

audidriver2010 (anonymous profile)
February 13, 2014 at 12:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"From the title, I thought that the quality of our females was in question here."
It IS in question at least for all of the females referenced in the article or for the females at the Indie who just can't help them-sexes from regurgitating feminist propaganda as 'fact'.

Sealion (anonymous profile)
February 14, 2014 at 12:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

event calendar sponsored by: