Older Women

With women in the US living longer and postponing retirement, whether out of necessity or by choice, many face economic hardship and discrimination. Although illegal in theory, older women may, in practice, be excluded from job or promotional opportunities based on misconceptions about their abilities or customer preferences for youth. Dual discrimination on the job is evidenced by older women being denied access to training programs and being channeled into positions without upward mobility. Retirement benefits are being further eroded by a weakening of organized labor, economic restructuring and budget cutbacks.

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

When Grandmothers Are Mothers, Too

This Sunday, bouquets of roses, Hallmark cards, and restaurant reservations will be deployed by citizenry anxious to promote and valorize an ideal Mother.  But what if you are a “mother” operating outside of the normative, mainstream designation? Is there a prize for you, too?

We could ask the thousands of grandmothers doing double duty as mothers while their daughters (or sons) serve time in prison. Jessica Dixon Weaver, a lawyer and legal scholar at Southern Methodist University, has spent considerable time exploring this version of mother, particularly in African American communities shaped by mass incarceration over the last 30 years.


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The Food Assistance Program: A Critical Safety Net for America’s Poor

A recent New York Times editorial states that under the Obama administration the homeless population has remained steady. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which provided $840 billion as stimulus monies included a $1.5 billion program that providing housing, rental assistance and temporary aid to people who had suddenly become homeless. But the editorial also notes, while conditions might be improving for homeless individuals, things are bleak for families with children. The National Women’s Law Center reported findings that in 2010, over 40 percent of single-mother families were poor; African-American and Hispanic single-mothers families living in poverty were 48 percent and 50 percent respectively.


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Retirement Security: Older Women Remain at Risk

GAO-12-825T, Jul 25, 2012

 

What GAO Found

Over the last decade, working women’s access to and participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans have improved relative to men. In fact, from 1998 to 2009, women surpassed men in their likelihood of working for an employer that offered a pension plan—largely because the proportion of men covered by a plan declined. Furthermore, as employers have continued to terminate their defined benefit plans and switch to defined contribution plans, the proportion of women who worked for employers that offered a defined contribution plan increased. Women’s higher rates of pension coverage may be due to the fact that they are more likely to work in the public and nonprofit sectors and industries that offer coverage, such as health and education.

URL: 
http://gao.gov/products/GAO-12-825T

Breaking the Social Security Glass Ceiling: A Proposal to Modernize Women's Benefits

 This report examines the valuable role women play as caregivers to both their children and to their aging parents. It looks at the impact of widowhood, and the difference in life expectancy between men and women and how that affects a growing number of older women --espeically those over age 86-- who are living below the poverty line. And it examines the special role that Social Security plays in meeting the income security needs of women from communities of color.

by Carroll Estes, Terry O'Neill, Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. (May 2012)

URL: 
http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/breaking-the-social-security-glass-ceiling-a-proposal-to-modernize-womens-benefits

Older Women's League - Mother's Day Report

 Each year, OWL team members, board members and other volunteers gather together to decide the most pressing issue facing midlife and older women. This issue is then researched and information is gathered to compile the Mother’s Day Report. These reports are free to all and we hope that you enjoy them!

2012
Women and the Workforce:
Challenges and Opportunities Facing Women as They Age

This year’s report looks at how factors such as unemployment and underemployment, pay inequality, caregiving, age and gender discrimination, and education, training, and technology are impacting women age 40 and older. The report highlights existing programs that produce real results and offer innovative solutions and policy-driven recommendations to expand economic diversity and accelerate our nation’s productivity.

URL: 
http://www.owl-national.org/pages/mothers-day-report

Breaking the Social Security Glass Ceiling

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation , the National Organization for Women Foundation and the Institute for Women's Policy Research briefed Congressional staff today on their research examining the challenges facing America 's elderly women and their families. Their report, Breaking the Social Security Glass Ceiling also proposes initiatives to ensure Social Security benefits are adequate for all Americans, particularly for women and women of color.
 
Here are just some of the recommendations in this groundbreaking report:
  • Improving Survivor Benefits.
    URL: 
    http://www.ncpssmfoundation.org/breaking_ss_glass_ceiling.pdf

What About Women (and Retirement)?

New “Retirement Revealed” data looks at women’s retirement planning and financial situations, with additional insights based on age and marital status, and a special report about women currently raising children.

From the ING Retirement Research Institute

 

URL: 
http://ing.us/rri/content/what-about-women-and-retirement
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