Poverty

Women are more likely to be poor than men, both in the United States and across the globe. Female-headed households are more liable to live in poverty. Families headed by single women in the US are more than twice as likely as other families to be poor. The poverty divide is even more dramatic for people of color: in the US, African-American (26.5 percent) and Latina women (23.6 percent) register much higher poverty rates than white women (11.6 percent). Evidence-based, research-driven policies and programs that recognize the diverse realities of poverty and attack its root causes are critical for producing change.

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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The Face of Poverty and Homelessness

*By Lily Rossow-Greenberg

By now we’ve all seen this video of a police officer giving a homeless man a pair of boots, however, we need to take a moment think about the true face of homelessness and poverty in New York City. Of the 50,000 people experiencing homelessness more than 20,000 are children, as reported by the Coalition for Homelessness. There are over 11,000 families living in shelters and, according to a 2005 Vera Institute of Justice report for NYC Department of Homeless services, 89% are headed by women.


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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

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

Oceans Apart: The Higher Health Costs of Women in the U.S. Compared to Other Nations, and How Reform Is Helping

An estimated 18.7 million U.S. women ages 19 to 64 were uninsured in 2010, up from 12.8 million in 2000. An additional 16.7 million women had health insurance but had such high out-of-pocket costs relative to their income that they were effectively underinsured in 2010. This issue brief examines the implications of poor coverage for women in the United States by comparing their experiences to those of women in 10 other industrialized nations, all of which have universal health insurance systems. The analysis finds that women in the United States—both with and without health insurance— are more likely to go without needed health care because of cost and have greater difficulty paying their medical bills than women in the 10 other countries. In 2014, the Affordable Care Act will substantially reduce health care cost exposure for all U.S. women by significantly expanding and improving health insurance coverage.

URL: 
http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/Issue-Briefs/2012/Jul/Oceans-Apart-Women.aspx
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