San Antonio's city council this week began reviewing a new report detailing troubling statistics about the safety, health and opportunities for local women.
The Status of Women in San Antonio report
was commissioned by city officials to provide an overview of gender disparities in San Antonio, especially in the areas of health and well-being, economic opportunities, political participation and safety.
At first glance, the safety statistics are the most alarming.
In 2014, San Antonio had the highest rape rate — 75.4 per 100,000 population — compared to Austin, Dallas and Houston, the state's other three largest cities.
What's more, the number of women murdered by intimate partners tripled between 2012 and 2017, reaching 18. Additionally, Bexar County had the highest murder rate of women compared to Travis, Dallas and Harris counties, the respective locations of Austin, Dallas and Houston.
Beyond the safety concerns, the report shows the city has much ground to cover when it comes to the wellbeing of its women, especially those of color. According to the report:
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- One in five women here don't have health insurance. That number rises to more than two in five for Latinas.
- Bexar's maternal mortality rate of 45.8 per 100,000 is higher than those of Travis, Dallas and Harris counties.
- Death rates for chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, often brought on by overconsumption of alcohol, are also considerably higher in Bexar than in Travis, Dallas and Harris counties.
- Over the past decade, women in San Antonio on average had 40% higher poverty rates than men.
- The percentage of San Antonio women with bachelor's degrees or higher increased from 22% in 2005 to 27.5% in 2017 but still lags that of other major Texas cities.