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.

FAST FACT: Women and Poverty in the Nation's Capital

December 9, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird

The DC Women's Agenda, a program of Wider Opportunities for Women, recently released a gender analysis of the 2008 American Community Survey. They found that women remain in poverty even while working. Here are some of the stats they shared:

  • Women are eight times more likely to live in poverty than men in D.C.
  • Approximately 22% of women-headed households, working full or part time, live in poverty
  • Gender income disparities persist as men who worked full-time had an 8.5% increase in salary from 2007 to 2008 while their female counterparts had only a 2.3% increase.

To read the full report, click here.

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Josephine Ho: The Criminalization of Economic and Sexual Underclasses

An excerpt from a lecture delivered at "Towards a Vision of Sexual and Economic Justice," an event held on November 29, 2007 at Barnard College.

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Engendering Justice: Women, Prisons and Change

In the last decade, we have witnessed the population of incarcerated women increase to 400 percent. Building on this development, Rebecca Haimowitz reflects on the interlinkage between incarceration and issues such as race, class, education, national identity, and gender conformity. 

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NCRW Economic Recovery and Stimulus Project

The National Council for Research on Women Project on the Economic Recovery Act

Reinvesting in Women and Families: Developing an Economy for the Future


In the midst of the current economic crisis—which is exacerbating previously existing disparities and inequalities in the United States—the Economic Reinvestment and Recovery Act [ARRA] offers an opportune moment to raise up public investment for all citizens and to make inroads in gender equality. Building on the Council’s commitment to initiatives that advance women’s economic well-being, this project aims to gain a better understanding of the impact of the Act on women and their families. Additionally, the project will identify the inequities in the Recovery Act’s allocation of resources and recommend ways to address any resulting disparities.

Reinvesting in Women and Families: Developing an Economy for the Future (Summit October 2010)

Economic Security Summit
October 8, 2010

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New York Women's Foundation

At The New York Women’s Foundation®, we work together to transform the conditions of poverty and provide for economic security, advocate for anti-violence and safety issues, as well as health, sexual rights and reproductive justice all helping to build a city where women, families and communities thrive through shared power and sustained justice and security.

Our work is rooted in a tradition of educating and engaging women of all means about the power of our collective action as activist philanthropists. We know that we can have a greater impact when we work together, leveraging our financial and intellectual resources for individuals and families to empower themselves to affect long-term systemic change. It is this singular commitment of women helping women that sets The New York Women’s Foundation apart from more traditional philanthropic organizations locally and nationally.


39 Broadway
New York, NY 10006
Ph. 212-514-6993



Principal Staff

Ana L. Oliveira, President & Chief Executive Officer
Ph. (646) 564-5960
E-mail: aoliveira@nywf.org

Talatha Kiazolu-Reeves, Vice President of Operations and Strategic Learning
Ph. (646) 564-5962
E-mail: treeves@nywf.org

Jacqueline Ebanks, Vice President of Programs
Ph. (646) 564-5970
E-mail: jebanks@nywf.org

Ruth Sarlin, Vice President of Communications
Ph. (646) 564-5988
E-mail: rsarlin@nywf.org

Susan Fulwiler, Vice President of Development
Ph. (646) 564-5980
E-mail: sfulwiler@nywf.org

Featured Events

Employment Opportunities

Projects & Campaigns

The Foundation supports organizations and programs that are working to eradicate gender–based violence and create safe communities.

The Foundation supports organizations and programs that enable women and girls living at or below the poverty level to achieve and sustain economic security and advance economic justice through: Education, Employment, Work Supports, Training, and Asset Building.
The Foundation supports organizations and programs that recognize and promote health as a fundamental right and necessity for achieving and sustaining individuals’ complete mental, spiritual, political, economic, and social well–being.


Reports & Resources

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.
Gender Budget Analysis Reports


Center News

Women of Color Policy Network

The Women of Color Policy Network of the Roundtable of Institutions of People of Color was established in 2000 to incorporate the needs, narratives and insights of women of color in the formulation of social, economic and welfare policy.

The Women of Color Policy Network conducts research and collects data on policies impacting women of color in the areas of employment, poverty, welfare, incarceration and health; uses the data and information to help educate community-based groups to hold policy-makers more accountable; works with policy-makers to help provide them with data to improve their decision-making; and mentors future generations of young women of color to enter the public policy and advocacy arena.


295 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10012-9604
Ph. (212) 998-7511
Fx. (212) 998-3890


Principal Staff

C. Nicole Mason, Ph.D., Executive Director and Research Assistant Professor, Wagner, NYU
Ph. (212) 998-7511
E-mail: nicole.mason@nyu.edu

Carly Highsmith, Assistant Research Scientist-Programs
Ph. (212) 998-7561
E-mail: cah389@nyu.edu

Diana Salas, Research Fellow
Ph. (212) 998-7530
E-mail: diana.salas@nyu.edu


Featured Events

Employment Opportunities

Projects & Campaigns

Our Work

The Network conducts  original research  and collects data  on women and communities of color. Research generated at the Network is  used to help create informed public policies  at the local,state, and national levels. We also analyze  public policies  to determine the impact they will have  on individuals, families, and communities. Our research and  policy priority areas include economic securityhealth disparitiesleadership and human rights.The goal of our research  and policy analysis is to increase access and relieve  disparities for women and communities of color.

In addition  to research and policy analysis, throughout the year, the Network hosts convenings,symposiums, lectures, and other events with many of the  nation's leading scholars, practitioners, and thought leaders. Our aim is to deepen public understanding  of complex public policy issues through dialogue and a thorough examination of all sides of the issues.
Lead the Way: Building the Pipeline of Women of Color Leaders in the Non-Profit Sector

Lead the Way is a unique capacity building and leadership initiative for women of color mid-level managers and emerging Executive Directors working in non-profit and community-based organizations.


Reports & Resources

Women of Color Policy Network. 2009. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and its impact on Women of Color, their families and communities.

Mason, C. Nicole, and Diana Salas. 2009. Making Ends Meet: Women and Poverty in New York City.


Center News

Project: CEW is working at the local level to increase welfare recipients' access to higher education

Project: CEW is working at the local level to increase welfare recipients' access to higher education, in collaboration with the Department of Human services, the county workforce development agency, area colleges and universities, and the Center for Civil Justice in Saginaw, MI.

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Domestic violence, economic abuse, and implications of a program for building economic resources for low-income women: findings from interviews with participants in a women's economic action program

"Domestic violence, economic abuse, and implications of a program for building economic resources for low-income women: findings from interviews with participants in a women's economic action program," by Cynthia K. Sanders, St. Louis: Washington University, Center for Social Development, 2007

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Issue Brief: "Strengthening Income and Work Supports"

Included in "A Platform for Progress: Building a Better Future for Women and Their Families/Building Economic Security" A policy summary on Earned Income Tax Credit and reform of welfare policies and administration.

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