Safety Nets

Women in the United States frequently lack basic services that are taken for granted in many other parts of the world. To be able to live in economic security, they require educational opportunities; paid sick leave; affordable, quality child care and elder care; as well as portable health care and adequate retirement benefits to protect them throughout their lives. While programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Food Stamps are available, they do not go far enough. More robust safety nets are needed to lift and keep women and their families out of poverty.

WOMEN GO GLOBAL CD-ROM

The United Nations and the International Women's Movement 1945-2000

To mark Beijing +5, the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women have produced Women Go Global, showing how the international women's movement and the United Nations have worked side-by-side in the quest for gender equality. The multimedia presentation features milestones in the establishment of the international agenda for equality between women and men, from the creation of the United Nations in 1945 and Beijing +5 in June 2000. Kristen Timothy, Visiting Scholar at the National Council for Research on Women, now Re:Gender, undertook the substantive research that provides the basis for the program.

To order a copy of Women Go Global, click here.

 

 

Teaser: 

The United Nations and the International Women's Movement 1945-2000 To mark Beijing +5, the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women will produce a CD-Rom showing how the international women's movement and the United Nations have worked side-by-side in the quest for gender equality. Milestones in the establishment of the international agenda for equality between women and men from the creation of the United Nations in 1945 and Beijing +5 in June 2000 are featured in the multi-media presentation.

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Women in Fund Management: A Road Map for Achieving Critical Mass — and Why it Matters

For more than a quarter century, the National Council for Research on Women, now Re:Gender, has promoted the advancement of women and girls and highlighted the benefits of women’s participation, active engagement and leadership in decision-making. In this project, the Council brings this same lens to the historically male-dominated spaces of fund management and the financial services more broadly.

Our report, Women in Fund Management: A Road Map for Achieving Critical Mass – and Why it Matters, explores the under-representation of women in the field, draws on research suggesting the benefits women can bring, and lays out concrete action steps for change. Specifically, we call on the financial services industry to develop a “critical mass principle” with quantifiable benchmarks and guidelines for increasing the number of women at all leadership levels.

Teaser: 

For more than a quarter century, the National Council for Research on Women, now Re:Gender, has promoted the advancement of women and girls and highlighted the benefits of women’s participation, active engagement and leadership in decision-making. In this project, the Council brings this same lens to the historically male-dominated spaces of fund management and the financial services more broadly.

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Health Scare Underlines Need to Repair Safety Nets

May 1, 2009 posted by Shyama Venkateswar The recent health alert on swine flu has serious implications for those surviving at the margins of society without health care, paid sick leave, or other benefits. Women working in low-skill jobs are particularly vulnerable. Judith Warner's piece in the NYT brings much-needed attention to this issue: how to provide economic security for millions of women, particularly those who are single heads of households, working part-time jobs that are tenuously held at best.


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The Impact of the Global Recession

April 17, 2009 posted by Shyama Venkateswar The Gender Policy Group at Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs organized a lively panel discussion on “Gender, Jobs and This Recession” on Monday, April 13, 2009. I was invited to speak on the panel along with Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Melinda Wolfe, Subha Barry and Heidi Brown. Here are the main points that I addressed: The current economic crisis is unprecedented in terms of its global reach and impact; here’s what the current economic crisis looks like within the United States.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that current unemployment stands at 13.2 million.
  • 5.1 million jobs have been lost since December 2007.
  • The subprime lending crisis has particularly hit hard women and people of color because of predatory lending practices. NCRW’s research has shown that African American and Latina women borrowers are most likely to receive sub-prime loans at every income level. Women are 32% more likely than men to receive subprime mortgages.
  • In the financial sector, men’s unemployment in Feb was 6.9% while for women it was 6.6%
  • There have been increased reports of women who were secondary breadwinners in their households having to now become primary wage earner because of layoffs.

At the international level, the picture remains pretty grim as well:


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Keeping Women on the Economic Agenda

Last night I attended a dynamic panel hosted by Legal Momentum on Women’s Economic Equality: The Next Frontier in Women’s Rights.  The brilliant panelists duked it out, discussing the current economic situation, its impact on women, and in what directions we should be heading. 


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Taxes ARE a Woman's Issue: Reframing the Debate

“American women have a major stake in a fair tax system. Women are over half of the population, close to half the work force, and more than half of all taxpayers. Yet we rarely hear about how tax policy affects women from various walks of life. To date, discussion and debate on taxes in the U.S. has lacked a gender lens.”
-from Taxes ARE A Women’s Issue: Reframing the Debate

 

Teaser: 

This book examines the current tax system and highlights the ways in which it disadvantages women, their families, and their communities. The book demonstrates how women benefit from services paid for by taxes – but also how they are adversely affected by the ways in which taxes are currently collected. The information presented is intended to educate, inform, and inspire women to speak out about current tax policy and its impact on their well being and that of their families. The facts point to the strong link between fair taxes and the quality of all our lives.

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Keeping Women on the Economic Agenda

April 3, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird Last night I attended a dynamic panel hosted by Legal Momentum on Women’s Economic Equality: The Next Frontier in Women’s Rights.  The brilliant panelists duked it out, discussing the current economic situation, its impact on women, and in what directions we should be heading.  Legal Momentum President, Irasema Garza, discussed the frustration that while historic legal victories were secured decades ago, this hasn’t translated into systematic equality for the majority of women in the U.S.  Women continue to be steered away from training opportunities, segregated into low-wage jobs, and are 42% more likely to be poor than men. In the midst of this stalemate came a ray of sunshine: the election of Obama.  With this historic election comes the opportunity to set new goals, reframe old debates, and shift the focus of our advocacy.  In this light, Legal Momentum is calling for a Second Bill of Rights for Women.  The bill must provide pathways to employment for women through job training and education; secure rights and supports to ensure women earn a living wage; ensure that public benefits provide an adequate safety net; and expand legal rights and support services for survivors of domestic violence. Heather Boushey brought her economic expertise from the Center for American Progress and laid out the current stark reality:


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FAST FACT: One-Third of New Yorkers Face Multiple Hardships

March 26, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird And that was BEFORE the recession hit! This week, I attended an amazing presentation by the Community Service Society and the New York Women’s Foundation, “Raising the Voice of Low-Income Women.” The Community Service Society (CSS) presented its 2009 findings for their annual Unheard Third Survey. According to CSS, "the Unheard Third tracks the concerns and hardships of New York City’s low-income residents and their views on what programs and policies would help them get ahead.”  What they found is quite distressing:

54% of low-income mothers in New York City faced 3 or more hardships in 2008.

Hardships include economic (losing a job), food (skipping meals), health (postponing necessary medical care), and housing (falling behind on rent or mortgage payments). Again, this is before the recession really took hold (CSS collected the data in summer 2008).  We can only speculate what next year’s Unheard Third Survey will find.  Between 2007 and 2008, CSS recorded a dramatic increase in hardships among working moms, especially economic and health hardships.


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FAST FACT: Don’t Forget About Health in the Economic Storm

March 12, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird This week is http://www.lgbthealth.net/awarenessweek09/ ">National LGBT Health Awareness week.  In honor of this important week, I wanted to share with you a stat I found from the Big Five Research: 50 percent of uninsured women have dependent children and half of them (54 percent) are employed. Even as much of our energy has been focused these past few months on the economy, I think it is vital we don’t forget about the importance of health!  Which is why the Council features both economic security and health as part of our Big Five Campaign.


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