Public Affairs, The California State University

CSUCI,CSUN Play Role in Landmark Study of Women

By Stephanie Thara

Status of Women and Girls in Ventura County, 2012In collaboration with the Ventura County Commission for Women, alumnae from CSU Channel Islands and CSU Northridge played integral roles in the completion and release of the first comprehensive report ever conducted on women in the region.

The inaugural “Status of Women and Girls in Ventura County, 2012” collected hundreds of statistics on more than 40,000 females in the county, and revealed the significant barriers in health, income and safety of women and girls in Ventura County. The report will serve as a catalyst for many significant large and small “calls to action” throughout Ventura County and will help advise the Ventura County Board of Supervisors about the needs of women and girls in Ventura County.

As members of the VCCW (a commission that seeks to improve the quality of life for women), CSUN alumnae Kitty Dill, Shanté Morgan-Durisseau, Carmen Hurd and Lee Riggan helped spearhead the project by working to secure financial backing and assistance for the study. Kristina Brook, also a CSUN graduate, served as a study consultant and researcher for the project.

The research provided by recent CSUCI graduates Mia de Paula, Celene Fuller, Marisol Rincon, Bernadette Kajaty and Associate Professor of Sociology Dennis Downey was vital to bringing the study to fruition. As part of a Sociology Capstone course, the former CSUCI students spent a semester collecting and analyzing data that illuminated surprising inequities, patterns and hardships affecting the lives of Ventura women and teen girls.

Some findings in the study include:

  • In Ventura County women comprise 23% of the “chronically homeless.”
  • Obesity is the most critical and pervasive health prevention issue Ventura County currently faces.
  • Ventura County has the second highest per capita rate of domestic violence calls in California.
  • While Ventura County females are earning high school diplomas, attending college, and earning college degrees at a higher rate than Ventura County males, they are also dropping out of the formal education system prior to high school at a higher rate than their male counterparts.
  • In Ventura County, 33% of middle school students and 48% of high school students report being teased about their physical appearance and the issue of body image is particularly poignant for African-American girls.

The complete study can be found here.