Economic Development & Security

Women are active players driving the economy, nationally and globally. They are important breadwinners for their families, grow most of the world’s food and are entering the formal and informal sectors of the labor market in increasing numbers. Despite their enormous contributions, women are still largely absent from leadership positions and their voices and perspectives are often missing from economic policymaking at the local, regional, national and international levels. To promote their wellbeing, women need access to adequate income and quality education to support themselves and their families. Women still earn less than men and make up a disproportionate number of the poor, both nationally and globally. In the United States, women’s wellbeing and advancement depend on their access to basic services, opportunities and safety nets, such as paid sick leave, affordable child care and elder care, advanced education, health care and adequate housing. Explore the resources listed below, including Related Categories links, or use the Keyword Search for more information.

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

The Pregnancy Assistance Fund as a Support for Student Parents in Postsecondary Education

The Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) is a competitive grant program created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that provides funding to states and tribes to support programs that provide pregnant and parenting women and girls with supportive services to help them complete high school or postsecondary degrees (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2010a). Only two states, Minnesota and Virginia, have used their PAF grants to provide services related to postsecondary institutions. This fact sheet describes several of the programs and initiatives created by these PAF grantees. Unless otherwise noted, all program information comes from interviews with program officials and staff.

by Rhiana Gunn-Wright (July 2012)

URL: 
http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/the-pregnancy-assistance-fund-as-a-support-for-student-parents-in-postsecondary-education

Intended and Unintended Births in the United States: 1982–2010

Report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Objectives—This report shows trends since 1982 in whether a woman wanted to get pregnant just before the pregnancy occurred. This is the most direct measure available of the extent to which women are able (or unable) to choose to have the number of births they want, when they want them. In this report, this is called the ‘‘standard measure of unintended pregnancy.’’

Methods—The data used in this report are primarily from the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The 2006–2010 NSFG included in-person interviews with 12,279 women aged 15–44. Some data in the trend analyses are taken from NSFG surveys conducted in
1982, 1988, 1995, and 2002.

URL: 
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr055.pdf

The State of Women of Color in the United States

Issue brief from the Center for American Progress:

This issue brief examines the state of women of color in the United States at large in regards to four key areas: the workplace wage gap, health, educational attainment, and political leadership. While conversations in the mainstream media would suggest that women of color are a monolithic entity, it is important to note that women of color are a diverse group with a variety of experiences. We offer specific data points on various racial and ethnic groups where available as we present the issues of greatest importance to women of color today, but remember that data are not always available for direct comparisons of different groups of women of color compared to their white counterparts.

 

URL: 
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/07/women_of_color_brief.html

State of Women-owned Businesses Report

As of 2012, it is estimated that there are more than 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating nearly $1.3 trillion in revenue and employing nearly 7.7 million people, according to the second annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN. The growth in the number (up 54 percent), employment (up 9 percent) and revenues (up 58 percent) of women-owned firms over the past 15 years exceeds the growth rates of all but the largest, publicly-traded firms.
 
Great news for women-owned businesses right? To a point.
URL: 
http://openforum.com/womensbusinessreport
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