Poverty

Women are more likely to be poor than men, both in the United States and across the globe. Female-headed households are more liable to live in poverty. Families headed by single women in the US are more than twice as likely as other families to be poor. The poverty divide is even more dramatic for people of color: in the US, African-American (26.5 percent) and Latina women (23.6 percent) register much higher poverty rates than white women (11.6 percent). Evidence-based, research-driven policies and programs that recognize the diverse realities of poverty and attack its root causes are critical for producing change.

Precarious Lives: Gender Lens on Low-Wage Work

Download Precarious Lives: Gender Lens on Low-Wage Work Primer
 

Written by: Rosa Cho; Edited by: Gail Cooper
Contributors: Mimi Abramovitz, Julia R. Henley and Stephen Pimpare
 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Higher Minimum Wage to Combat Gap?

- By Gail Cooper and Isabel Jenkins -

Passed in 1965, the Equal Pay Act was lauded as a victory in the fight to end gender-based pay discrimination in the US. Fast-forward to 2014, women of all backgrounds still make less a week than men, finds a study by American Association of University Women. Both Latinas and African American women make 11 percent less their male counterparts, while the gap for White women (22 percent) and Asian women (21) was slightly higher. Although many factors contribute, the root of the wage gap may lie in the way American society views gender, families and industry.


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2014 Annual Conference

Re:Gender, formerly National Council for Research on Women, and the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan hosted "Women and Economic Security: Changing Policy and Practice" in Ann Arbor from May 14-16, 2014.

This 3-day interdisciplinary, multi-sector conference focused on identifying and combating barriers that women living in poverty face as they seek economic security and mobility, and drilled down on the precarity of low-wage workers. It covered everything from tipped workers as they struggle to get employers to treat them fairly and with respect to worker centers' efforts to help low-wage workers understand relevant laws and their rights. In addition, a range of policy recommendations were generated during the conference's breakout sessions and were then provided to Michigan elected officials.

Highlights included:

Why the Farm Bill Needs a Gender Lens

On July 11th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a version of the farm bill that eliminates all nutritional aid to hungry Americans in need, which is provided mainly through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Not since 1973 has Congress separated subsidies to farmers from individuals in need of food security.  At a moment when Congress is seeking substantial changes to SNAP, it is important to ask: Who exactly is affected by changes?


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Great Gifts for Mothers of Young Children: Quality, Accessible, Affordable Early Care and Education

Quality early care and education are truly a gifts that will keep on giving, not only to mothers, but to all of us.  We’re not saying that it’s only important to mothers; fathers need and want this too.  However, there has been much research on its impact on mothers, especially single mothers.  According to the Center for American Progress, “...although mothers are now the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of American households with children, women spend more than twice as much time as men providing primary care to children.


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Why Negotiation is Only Part of the Solution

Did you know that women are more likely to face negative social consequences for negotiating?  This seems to go against the pervasive notion that women effectively negotiating for high salaries will be a magic bullet for closing the wage gap.  According to Hannah Riley Bowles, Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Linda Babcock, Carnegie Mellon University, in their article How Can Women Escape the Compensation Negotiation Dilemma? Relational Accounts Are One Answer, “…women entering compensation negotiations face a dilemma: They have to weigh the benefits of negotiating against the social consequences of having negotiated.”


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The Economic Security and Well-being Index for Women in New York City™

New York City is home to more than four million women and girls representing a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds, citizenship statuses, educational attainment levels, and occupations. Of those, close to one in four are economically vulnerable, meaning they are likely to live in poverty, have lower earnings and suffer longer spells of unemployment than other women in the City. 

Teaser: 

The Economic Security and Well-being Index for Women in New York City™ provides an in-depth analysis of the economic security, health and safety, and well-being of women in the 59 community districts. It analyzes issues that shape the lives of women and girls, including poverty, income and employment; violence and safety; and education and health.

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