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Advocates attempt to close Mississippi's gender poverty gap
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Women for Progress address women's poverty in Mississippi
Maura Moed

 

A report from the Institute of Women's Policy research found that in 2015, more than half of single women with children in Mississippi live in poverty. 

Tiffany Graves is executive director of the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission. She says it's been hard for women to make a living after The Great Recession hit.   

"Many lost their jobs, and many have never been able to regain employment. Some who have, at best, are working part-time positions that are also low-wage. The rebound has been very slow," says Graves. 

Graves explains why women in Mississippi - particularly African-Americans - aren't making as much money as men. 

"There's educational issues, there's skills training issues, and there are just discrimination issues oftentimes, that force women to be in positions that just aren't paying them as much as men. When you're having to take care of yourself and your family, being in a low-wage position is just not enough to be able to sustain you or your children," Graves says. 

Willie Jones is President of Women for Progress of Mississippi - a nonprofit organization that advocates for women and minorities. She says a solution is to educate women about available opportunities. 

"We have to get women to think about outside of the box opportunities. They no longer have to work at McDonald's or maybe work at Walmart. They can get in jobs that men are in! So, when we talk about the gaps that are between women and men, go for those jobs!" says Jones. 

According to the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission, women head-up 49 percent of Mississippi's single family households.