This report looks at the impacts of cash transfers (CTs) on gender dynamics both within households and communities. This report was commissioned because of the agencies’ concerns that while CTs, now being used in many different emergency contexts, are expected to benefit women and contribute towards their empowerment there was little evidence being collected to see whether this was in fact happening.
From the Executive Summary:
Power relations and gender roles within households and the community are culturally and geographically specific. The impact of the CTs on women depended very much on the setting. Overall, there were many positive benefits for women, including increased self esteem and confidence to handle money and an acceptance by men that women are capable of playing such a role. On the whole, intra-household relations improved as a result of the CTs targeting women and there were indications that some of these improvements may last beyond the length of the programme.
However, there were also clear challenges. Both the community implications of how the CTs were implemented and the effect of the CTs on traditional coping strategies were a significant worry for some beneficiaries. Community relations did not necessarily improve, and in some cases worsened, as a result of the programmes. The CTs also tended to reinforce rather than challenge women’s traditional household and social roles. CTs were perceived as helping women to simply perform their roles ‘better’. In this context, women are expected to carry the burden of food provision and to manage the payments responsibly, often in the face of multiple pressures and claims. Likewise male roles were imbued with negative stereotypes, which will have damaging effects on the potential for long-term changes in gender relations. Complex social dynamics, such as polygamy, was not accounted for and the distribution of food within households remained highly gendered and hierarchical.
In a key indicator of economic security, the percentage of Americans who report living paycheck to paycheck all or most of the time was up five points over 2010 to 49 percent. But the increase among low-income women is especially staggering: 77 percent report living paycheck to paycheck, a 17-point jump from last year. Other highlights include:
Seventy-one percent of women and 65 percent of men say the economic downturn had some or a great deal of impact on their families.
Nearly half of Americans (46 percent) remain concerned that they or someone in their household could be out of a job in the next 12 months.
Low-income women continue to feel the greatest impact from the downturn, with 80 percent saying it has had some or a great deal of impact compared with 73 percent of low-income men. Other groups experiencing a particularly strong impact are: Latinas (74 percent); single mothers (73 percent); and women without a college degree (74 percent).
Glamour has launched a “Tell Somebody” campaign to combat relationship violence. To provide current data on young women and relationship violence, the magazine also commissioned an exclusive Harris Interactive representative online survey of 2,542 woman ages 18 to 35, developed with counsel from the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV), the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Casa Esperanza and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
29% of women surveyed said they’d been in an abusive relationship.
24% of women in abusive relationships have not told anyone they’re being harmed
62% of women who reported they had been in these relationships said that having the support of a friend, family member or coworker helped them “get through the relationship safely.”
42% of women who were in an abusive relationship and told someone they were being hurt said doing so helped them get out.
Using federal statistics, this report provides a picture of women in America in five areas: demographic and family changes, education, employment, health, and crime and violence.
From the Foreword:
Each page of this report is full of the most up-to-date facts on the status of women. Of particular note are the following:
As the report shows, women have made enormous progress on some fronts. Women have not only caught up with men in college attendance but younger women are now more likely than younger men to have a college or a master’s degree. Women are also working more and the number of women and men in the labor force has nearly equalized in recent years. As women’s work has increased, their earnings constitute a growing share of family income.
Yet, these gains in education and labor force involvement have not yet translated into wage and income equity. At all levels of education, women earned about 75 percent of what their male counterparts earned in 2009. In part because of these lower earnings and in part because unmarried and divorced women are the most likely to have responsibility for raising and supporting their children, women are more likely to be in poverty than men. These economic inequities are even more acute for women of color.
Women live longer than men but are more likely to face certain health problems, such as mobility impairments, arthritis, asthma, depression, and obesity. Women also engage in lower levels of physical activity. Women are less likely than men to suffer from heart disease or diabetes. Many women do not receive specific recommended preventative care, and one out of seven women age 18-64 has no usual source of health care. The share of women in that age range without health insurance has also increased.
Women are less likely than in the past to be the target of violent crimes, including homicide. But women are victims of certain crimes, such as intimate partner violence and stalking, at higher rates than men.
U. S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration and Executive Office of the President Office of Management and Budget
The 2011 HealthGrades Women’s Health in American Hospitals report evaluates the quality of
care for women at U.S. hospitals. The report analyzes inhospital complication and mortality rates among 16
of the most common diagnoses and procedures among women ages 65 and older, and identified
170 of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals that excelled in the treatment of women.
Key findings of the report include:
Compared to those treated at poor-performing hospitals, female patients at Women’s Health Excellence Award hospitals had a 40.56% lower risk-adjusted mortality across nine cardiac, pulmonary and vascular-based diagnoses and procedures and a 16.13% lower risk-adjusted rate of complications across five orthopedic procedures.
An additional 41,025 women over the age of 65 could have potentially survived their hospitalization and 8,558 could have avoided a major complication if all hospitals had performed at the level of HealthGrades Women’s Health Excellence Award recipient hospitals.
For treatment of heart attack in 2009, only one-third of women received a cardiac surgical intervention compared to almost half of men (33.5% and 45.6%, respectively).
Among heart attack patients receiving a cardiac intervention, such as coronary bypass surgery or angioplasty, women had a 30% higher death rate compared to men.
Women make up a higher percentage of admissions for hip fracture repair than men; this has remained unchanged from 2005 to 2009 (74% for women, 26% for men).
Norway is the world’s best place to be a mother, and eight of the 10 top-ranked countries are in Western Europe. The remaining two are in the southern hemisphere, with Australia ranking second and New Zealand eighth. This year, the United States ranks 31st of 43 developed countries, dropping three spots from last year’s rankings.
Meanwhile, eight of the world’s 10 worst countries to be a mother are in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The world’s toughest place to be a mother is Afghanistan, where two of every five children are malnourished and one in five will die before their fifth birthday. Afghan women have less than five years of schooling on average, and female life expectancy is only 45. Compare that to Norway, where one in 333 children die before age five and women typically complete 18 years of school and live to age 83.
According to a report from the Alliance for Board Diversity, women and minorities continue to be underrepresented in positions of power in American corporations.
“White men held 73 percent of board seats at Fortune 100 companies last year, up from 71 percent in 2004, according to the alliance, which advocates the inclusion of women and minorities on corporate boards. White women accounted for 15 percent in 2010, compared with 14 percent in 2004, while minorities made up 13 percent, down from 15 percent.
Citigroup, International Business Machines Corpt. (IBM) and Procter & Gamble Co. (PG were among just 15 companies in the Fortune 500 whose boards last year had representation from each of the U.S. Census Bureau’s major groups: men, women, Whites, African Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders and Hispanics, the alliance said.”
The Asian Development Bank and International Labour Organization report that, in Asia, women have suffered the economic downturn disproportionately. Female employees remain vulnerable to job loss, with casual laborers often the first to be fired.
Asia's women have suffered disproportionately in the economic downturn and remain vulnerable to job loss, with casual laborers the first to be fired and young women trailing men in employment opportunities, a report said Friday.
Women are often relegated to the status of secondary household earners, and their limited work opportunities are costing Asia-Pacific countries $47 billion annually in lost income, according to a study by the International Labor Organization and the Asian Development Bank.
The region stands to lose another $30 billion a year because of a gender gap in education at a crucial time when it is leading the global economic recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, the report said.
As regional economies rebound, conditions have improved for Asia's 734 million female workers but not enough to level the field in the labor market, the report said. Women were the hardest hit by the crisis because female casual workers, seen as a buffer work force, were often the first to lose their jobs.
Among other findings: -- Women comprise 70 to 90 percent of the workers in labor-intensive factories in export processing zones but are usually paid 10 to 30 percent less than men. -- Asian women also account for more than half of workers in health care, education, finance, hotels and restaurants, but generally do not hold senior managerial positions in any of those fields. -- Forty-five percent of Asian women of working age were inactive or outside the labor force, compared to 19 percent of Asian men.”
Asian Development Bank/International Labour Organization
A study done by researchers at Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California found that women play only approximately one-third of speaking roles in the top-grossing movies of 2008. Young women were also approximately six times more likely to appear wearing sexually revealing attire than young men.
“This study examined the gender of all speaking characters and behind-the-scenes employees on the 100 top-grossing fictional films in 2008. A total of 4,370 speaking characters were evaluated and 1,227 above-the-line personnel. In addition to prevalence, we assessed the hypersexualization of on screen characters across the 100 movies. Below are the study’s main findings.
32.8 percent of speaking characters were female. Put differently, a ratio of roughly 2 males to every one female was observed across the 100 top-grossing films. Though still grossly imbalanced given that females represent over half of the U.S. population, this is the highest percentage of females in film we have witnessed across multiple studies.
The presence of women working behind-the-camera is still abysmal. Only, 8% of directors, 13.6% of writers, and 19.1% of producers are female. This calculates to a ratio of 4.90 males to every one female. Films with female directors, writers, and producers were associated with a higher number of girls and women on screen than were films with only males in these gate-keeping positions. To illustrate, the percentage of female characters jumps 14.3% when one or more female screenwriters were involved in penning the script.
Females continue to be hypersexualized in film, particularly 13- to 20-year old girls. A substantially higher percentage of young females, in comparison to young males, are shown wearing sexually revealing attire (39.8% vs. 6.7%), partially naked (30.1% vs. 10.3%), with a small waist (35.1% vs. 13.6%), and physically attractive (29.2% vs. 11.1%). No gender differences emerged for chest size or ideal body shape for teenaged speaking characters.”
Ing Direct and Dailyworth.com conducted a survey that reveals that many women know very little about their own retirement plans.
From PR Newswire Press Release:
Nearly eight in ten (78 percent) women say they lack financial savvy (or they are still learning) about retirement planning. Given this, more than one in three married women admit they hand over the reins for their retirement planning to their spouse or significant other. Still a quarter of women (23 percent) acknowledge that they should pay more attention to retirement planning.
To help determine why some women lack readiness in their retirement planning, the survey revealed that:
Nearly 30 percent have no idea what their main source of retirement income will be.
40 percent of women don't know what kind of retirement lifestyle they want.
49 percent wish they knew more about the basics of investing, including picking the right stocks or funds, and portfolio and risk management.
37 percent of women blame a lack of time, complicated Wall Street jargon and trouble with their everyday expenses as hurdles that prevent them from being investing savvy.