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Houston Breakthrough 1977-02
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Houston Breakthrough 1977-02 - Page 7. February 1977. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 21, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4451/show/4436.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(February 1977). Houston Breakthrough 1977-02 - Page 7. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4451/show/4436

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1977-02 - Page 7, February 1977, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 21, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4451/show/4436.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough 1977-02
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date February 1977
Description Vol. 2 No. 2
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 21 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 7
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_525g.jpg
Transcript \ > Women's Advocate addresses A new tradition began in January 1977: the Women's State of the City, State and Union Addresses which coincided with the messages by mayors, governors, and the President. In Houston, Dr. Nikki Van Hightower, Women's Advocate for the City of Houston, gave the Women's State of the City Address, a 60-page report on the status of women in the community. The following is an abbreviation of the address: Excerpted by Rachel Burke FAIR REPRESENTATION AND PARTICIPATION IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS Women constitute approximately half the population in the Houston community, yet when it comes to representation irf city government, their presence remains virtually unacknowledged. Women hold no elective positions in Houston's city government, nor have»they in the history of the city. The position of Women's Advocate was created by Mayor Fred Hofheinz during his first administration in response to complaints by women's groups that their voices were not being heard and that their problems were not being addressed. Although the Women's Advocate actually ha no power to change or implement anything, the value of the position is as a channel for women's concerns. MEANINGFUL WORK AND ADEQUATE COMPENSATION Equal employment opportuni- y is still fajj from becoming a •eality of life. In Houston, the nedian yearly earnings of males iveraged $3,915 more than females. To put it another way, a woman earns only $.48 for every dollar earned by a man - slightly less than half as much. To be female in Houston is to be employable almost exclusively in traditional positions, to be subject to higher unemployment rates and to lower wage rates. In the Houston area, 46.9 percent of all females 16 years and older are now employed. In city government, women comprise only.20% of the work force. Women constitute only 4% of the protective services (the largest single job category - 33% of all employees - in the city), excluded through height, weight, and agility requirements. 58% of all female employees are in the office clerical category, the lowest paid job category in the city. CHILD CARE An estimated 67,146 children under the age of six years in Harris County were spending at least part of the day on a regular basis during 1970 under the supervision and care of persons other than parents. Few of these arrangements involved licensed day care facilities. Problems of child care are intimately connected with problems of employment and income. 60% of all such children were within the poverty or borderline poverty definition of the Office of Economic Opportunity. When the implications of this widespread economic plight are considered, he finding on the State level that 13% of all children under six with working mothers were left without supervision or in circumstances of very questionable care is less surprising, if no less shocking. The solutions to these local child care problems for the poor and near-poor majority seem unlikely to come from private industry because if profit is the motive, then the clientele must be the middle class. CREDIT In 1975, the Houston Area Feminist Federal Credit Union .was organized to provide a nondiscriminatory source of credit, to give women a chance to demonstrate their credit worthiness, to assist members with budgeting and other financial problems and expand financial awareness among women. During its first year of operations, HAFFCU made loans to over 200 members and made regular voluntary credit reports to the credit bureau to help borrowers establish a credit history. In September, 1976, HAFFCU paid its first dividends on members' savings accounts. Despite the success of the credit union, progress has been slow in changing the attitudes and policies of local banks, retailers, and other credit granters. One of the most common problems is that all credit established oy a married couple is issued and reported in the husband's name regardless of the wife's contribution to income or financial management within the family. If the marriage is terminated by death or divorce, the credit bureau simply removes the wife's name from the "family file" and no credit history at all is attributed to the wife. A good solution to this problem is for the woman to borrow money or obtain credit cards in her own name while she is married and to make sure they are reported to the credit bureau. EDUCATION As sex bias is an integral part of American society, so it is also of the educational system. The practice of stereotyping and socializing women and men into "feminine" and "masculine" roles has resulted in prejudice, dominance, discrimination, and segregation harmful to the human development of both sexes. TUTORING Elementary Education Language Learning Disabled Emotionally Disturbed Hearing - Impaired (All Ages) Developmental Education Services 3412 Audubon Place Houston, Texas 77006 call 524-6637 DR. NIKKI VAN HIGHTOWER Women in Houston Independent School District continue to be the minority of administrators (45% in 1976) but the vast majority of teachers (80% in 1976). Students are daily deprived of the opportunity of having role models in both sexes. The stereotyped view that men belong in positions of authority and that women should be subordinate is perpetuated by the employment practices of#our entire education system. Many school practices and materials (particularly textbooks) contribute to the reinforcement of sex-role stereotypes which discourage young females from developing their personal potential and withhold from them the motivation gained from outside reinforcement that is granted to males. In counseling and career education programs too, little has been done to encourage students to consider careers in accordance with their interests and abilities regardless of the traditional roles and careers. HOUSING The major housing problem for women in Houston is the lack of "crisis" housing or temporary shelter during crucial times in their lives. The Harris County Task Force on Alcohol, Drugs and Women reports that there is a critical need for housing for alcoholic women. The City of Houston Government operates a rehabilitation facility for male alcoholics, but offers nothing for women. There is also a serious need for temporary shelter for women in other kinds of crisis such as battered women, rape victims, stranded women and other female victims of crime. Currently there are approximately ten possible shelter sources for women in Houston; half serve distinct populations (drug/alcohol abusers, parolees) and the others are inadequate in various ways. In May, 1976, an Ad Hoc Committee was formed composed of women from various agencies to determine the numbers of women who need safe shelter, and the YWCA received a $5,948 planning grant to hire a program developer and other staff to develop proposals for full- scale funding, and to locate a facility for a shelter. HEALTH In no area are women as aware of a biological distinction from males than in the area of health care. Women tend to be greater consumers of health care than men and most of the care is related to their reproductive systems. Yet the health establishment is almost totally male-dominated. The Houston Women's Health Collective formed to combat the low status of women in the health care system is a small group of women who believe in certain rights as necessary for gaining and maintaining good health, such as an unpolluted environment, adequate health care and complete and prompt medical information. They hold classes called "self- help" which give information on how to deal with doctors, clinics and hospitals. Many pregnant women seeK help in finding a doctor and a place for delivery where the needs of the woman and the baby will come first. There is a definite need for women to have more options in birth. Although pregnancy and childbirth are the major health care needs of women, maternity is frequently not covered under group health insurance. The hopes of many women for more equitable health care policies were dashed with the recent Supreme Court Decision, General Electric Co. v. Gilbert et al. finding that it was not discriminatory for companies to exclude pregnancy from benefit coverage. Page 6 • February 1977 • Houston Breakthrough