Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross speak with policy analyst with the Institute of Public Policy in the MU Truman School of Public Affairs, Jacqueline Schumacher:

Jacqueline Schumacher

The University of Missouri and The Women’s Foundation  of Kansas City are partnering in a research project aimed at improving the lives of Missouri families and identifying actionable items that can be addressed both locally and at the state level.  “We want to understand the data that’s out in the world and how to bring that together to make a strong, coherent narrative about the status of women,”said Schumacher, “So, we have to know what databases to tap into issues that impact womens’ lives including employment and income, their choices regarding education and childcare, and also women’s health which is a really broad issues that, when you look at different parts of the state, can mean very different things.”

Schumacher explained how they will insure information is gathered from a solid cross-section of the population.  “We are approaching our research from a geographic standpoint,”said Schumacher, “We’re working with a really strong and robust data platform that allows a lot of data-mapping to understand the differences throughout the state.  We understand that what is needed inside of the larger, urban areas is very different from the rural and suburban communities.  So, policy and action items can impact women’s lives a positive way, but we are also careful to understand those impacts often mean different things in different areas.”

Researchers will look at five key areas: employment and income, education and childcare, social and economic, health, and leadership and public engagement.

Early information from the research will be made available in December.  Hopes are that this research will develop into a long-term project.