Economic Development & Security

Women are active players driving the economy, nationally and globally. They are important breadwinners for their families, grow most of the world’s food and are entering the formal and informal sectors of the labor market in increasing numbers. Despite their enormous contributions, women are still largely absent from leadership positions and their voices and perspectives are often missing from economic policymaking at the local, regional, national and international levels. To promote their wellbeing, women need access to adequate income and quality education to support themselves and their families. Women still earn less than men and make up a disproportionate number of the poor, both nationally and globally. In the United States, women’s wellbeing and advancement depend on their access to basic services, opportunities and safety nets, such as paid sick leave, affordable child care and elder care, advanced education, health care and adequate housing. Explore the resources listed below, including Related Categories links, or use the Keyword Search for more information.

FAST FACT: Layoffs Not Dwindling

February 12, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird

In the first few days of February, 50,939 people working at America's 500 largest companies have been laid off.  Companies include Nike, US Airways, Wal-Mart, Macy's and General Motors. (via Forbes' Layoff Tracker)

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THE GLOBAL TRACK: India--Land of Malls and Ragpickers

February 11, 2009 posted by Shyama Venkateswar

 
 

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="298" caption="Photograph: Deshakalyan Chowdhury"]Photograph: Deshakalyan Chowdhury[/caption]

I was recently in Calcutta, India, my place of birth, home to where my mother, a sibling, old friends, and sweet memories still reside. This is my other “home” where I try to get to every year to renew and regenerate myself, and recharge from the stresses of a running a two working parents’ nuclear household in frenetic New York City. My trip last month came after a two year gap; I felt the familiar overwhelming desire to be there, to be a part of the sights and sounds of an India that were at once familiar and yet distant to me. Having left almost 23 years ago to move to the US, I have a unique insider-outsider vantage point. I was born and brought up there; I know things instinctively – all the cultural puzzles, contradictions, nuances of language, wordplay and verbal cues, body language, subtle things - that only a native-born can ever know. But, having been away long enough, and trained in and working in a field where critical inquiry is required, I can no longer accept without questioning the status and daily conditions of millions of people living in absolute poverty, what Collier refers to as The Bottom Billion. Even as India’s economy grows steadily at about 8% a year, there are entire communities of people, some 300 million of them, who live under a $1 a day without regular access to food, water, housing, livelihoods, reproductive healthcare or education. Malnutrition in children under five is at a staggering 45%.

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FAST FACT: Where Women Can Earn $20 or more an Hour

February 6, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird

In 2007, the nontraditional occupation for women with the largest number of employed women was laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand.


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GIRLS FORUM: Discrimination Can Happen “Anywhere, Anytime, to Anyone”

February 5, 2009 posted by admin [caption id="attachment_1063" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="New Moon Girl"]New Moon Girl's Editorial Board[/caption] The following 5 posts are from members of the Girls Editorial Board of New Moon GirlsThey all live in Minnesota. Dear President Obama, You are now the president of the United States of America, what I had been wanting to happen since the beginning of the election. I am a supporter of women's rights and equal treatment of women. In this year 2009 there are many things that I would like to see change. Incidents of injustice must stop in the United States, and fairness should be strived for everywhere. In all places people of all races and genders should work together, equal pay and things such as fair promotions should be fought for but unfortunately this does not always happen. I strive to change that. Here are some facts about injustice to women that need to change: 


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Queers Descend Upon Denver to Create Change

February 4, 2008 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird [caption id="attachment_1043" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="With Robyn Ochs and a fellow NYC Bi activist"][/caption] I spent this weekend in Denver, CO at the 21st Annual National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Conference for LGBT Equality (aka “Creating Change”).  As Kate Clinton warned, I am recovering from the shock of re-entry into the “real world” where, in fact, not everyone is queer—nor even an ally (bummer).  This was the second year I was able to attend this fabulous conference where thousands of LGBT activists gather to network, build coalitions, and share tips on how to create change.  And I gotta tell ya—I’m hooked! Since I skipped the day-long institutes, my first Creating Change event was Dolores Huerta: “We Have Arrived!”  Dolores Huerta co-founded United Farm Workers of American with Cesar Chavez.  She immediately caught my attention when she stated that the minimum wage should be no less than $25/hour.  Now that’s what I call a living wage!  Huerta further captured my heart when she said, “We need to educate ourselves about each other’s movements and organizations.”


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EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK!!! Justice for Lilly Ledbetter?

Posted January 27, 2009 by admin The National Women’s Law Center spoke with Lilly Ledbetter after the Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Check out their interview:

The Senate act, coupled with the Paycheck Fairness Act—passed earlier as a separate bill by the House—will now go up for a House vote as one Fair Pay Bill.  See our economic security page for more facts on women and economic security.


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Gender Equality as an Investment Concept

January 23, 2009 posted by Shyama Venkateswar, Kyla Bender-Baird, and Lisa Rast The room was filled to capacity at Demos’ latest panel for their Women’s Leadership Initiative.  Women (and a few men) from all sectors joined together to discuss gender equality as an investment concept.  Anne Black from Goldman Sachs discussed their 10,000 Women initiative.  The driving idea behind this timely initiative is that investing in women’s business skills is the fastest way to grow GDP.  Joe Keefe from Pax World Mutual Fund, which recently took over Pax’s Women’s Equity Fund, argued that gender equality should be framed as an investment imperative, not a moral one. In fact, gender equality helps to grow the bottom line.  Finally, Ritu Sharma, co-founder of Women Thrive Worldwide, demonstrated the importance of building crucial infrastructure to aid women across the globe, who otherwise spend much of their day gathering water and fuel, and caregiving.


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FAST FACTS: Disturbing Poverty Disparities

January 23, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird A few weeks ago, I received a newsletter from the Institute on Community Integration .  The entire issue focused on employment and women with disabilities.  Given the Council's dedication to women and economic security, my interest was instantly peaked.  Check out these stats:


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Stay-At-Home-Without-Options

January 21, 2009 posted by Linda Basch I want to draw your attention to a moving commentary by Deborah Siegel, “Masculine Mystique, Meet Feminine Mistake,” posted at the Women’s Media Center, in which she raises questions as to why the media seems to latch onto outmoded models of marriage roles, where men are the breadwinners and women are the caretakers of  home and family.  This raised in my mind another scenario we also are seeing today: the high cost of child care.  In this scenario, one or the other of the parenting couple opts to stay home to care for home and family.  Then, what happens when the working partner gets laid off?  As in Deborah’s case, though Deborah works fulltime, those families also fall into a tailspin


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Blog Post Overturns Wrongful Termination

January 16, 2009 posted by Linda Basch I wanted to share with you an exciting victory that came across my desk during the holidays.  After bringing forward sexual harassment charges at Chili’s in August, a server named Rachel Spicuglia was fired two weeks before Christmas.   As a direct result of a quick and passionate response made by her sister, Rebekah Spicuglia,who wrote about the case on the Huffington Post and launched a petition, Brinker International re-hired Rachel.


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