Women’s Institute at the University of Missouri at St. Louis Faces Extinction

Both houses of the Missouri legislature have passed budget resolutions that would end funding for the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. The institute aims to train women for careers in government and public service but many GOP legislators argue that the institute has a left-wing political agenda and they want to end state funding for the effort.

The institute was founded in 1998 and honors Sue Shear, the longest-serving woman in the history of the Missouri legislature.

In a statement, released after the vote cutting funding by the Missouri House of Representatives, the institute said that it “is deeply disappointed by the efforts of the Missouri Legislature to halt funding for programs that educate and encourage the civic participation of half the country’s population. These attacks politicize the Sue Shear Institute and its efforts, which are strictly educational. The Institute is a non-partisan educational organization that does not take positions on issues or espouse a particular political agenda. The Institute does not recruit or endorse candidates, run political or issue campaigns, operate a PAC, or engage in any other activity that could be construed by a reasonable person to be ‘political.'”

“There is overwhelming scholarly evidence that women face internal, as well as external, barriers to participation in the public policy process,” said Dr. Dayna Stock, manager of the Sue Shear Institute. “Educational programs like those at the Sue Shear Institute, and other institutions of higher learning, help break down those barriers and move us toward a more representative democracy.”

Filed Under: Women's Studies

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