Employment & Unemployment

Women continue to lag behind men in earnings and wages. The underlying reasons for these continuing disparities are cultural, social and economic. While unemployment rates for women have declined less for women than for men during the recent economic downturn, women are still apt to have lower-paying jobs, with fewer benefits, and more part-time and interrupted careers. As the jobless rate for men rises, women are increasingly becoming primary breadwinners for their families, often without increased access to child care, elder care and help with domestic chores and other key supports.

Change was promised, Change has come

May 27, 2009 posted by Linda Basch After nearly a month of anticipation, President Obama has finally announced his nomination for Supreme Court justice—and what a nomination!  The President tapped Sonia Sotomayor, a New York federal appeals justice born to Puerto Rican parents and raised in housing projects in the South Bronx.     In a world where most Latinas are far less likely to go on to college than any other group of women, only 2.9 % of Latina Women hold advanced graduate degrees, 10% of all Latina women are unemployed, and the number of female Hispanic Federal Court Judges can be counted on one hand, Sotomayor has risen above those odds to become the first ever Hispanic woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court. Her ascent from humble beginnings mirrors President Obama’s personal narrative; both overcame incredible obstacles to become role models for generations.  For those in the Hispanic Community, her appointment is a glimmer of hope that the often silenced voice of the Hispanic, female minority has a better chance of being represented in public debates and decision-making.


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Tradeswomen Organizing for Change: 30 Years and Counting

May 25, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird

As the granddaughter of a woman engineer (and also someone who struggles to assemble her Ikea furniture but loves her new toolkit anyway), it was an honor to be surrounded by tradeswomen at the Institute for Women and Work’s panel last Thursday night up at Cornell.  We were gathered to discuss how the economic crisis and recovery efforts in New York impact women, particularly tradeswomen.  For me, though, it was an education in a history I didn’t even know existed: the history of tradeswomen in the U.S. and their fight for recognition and rights.  After 30 years of activism, women still only comprise 3% of the construction labor force.   As one panelist said, “do we really believe that men have 97% of the answers?”  I think not. Although frustration with this slow-moving progress was evident in the room, the Cornell event was more celebratory than anything else. Susan Eisenberg shared slides from her multi-media installation, On Equal Terms.   The theme of the installation: Women in construction—30 years and still organizing.  The most provocative exhibit was the bathroom shack, literally a 6 foot by 6 foot plywood replica of a typical bathroom tradeswoman encounter on the job, complete with documented misogynistic and explicitly sexual graffiti. 


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Women and Money Matters

May 22, 2009 posted by admin


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