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.

Retirement on the Edge: Women, Men, and Economic Insecurity After the Great Recession

The Great Recession dramatically altered the lives of many Americans, creating pronounced economic stress and uncertainty for both individuals and families. Even after the recession was officially declared over, unemployment levels remained persistently high, while housing values remained notably low. These circumstances led the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) to develop and analyze the IWPR/Rockefeller Survey of Economic Security, which was administered to 2,746 adults aged 18 and older between September and November 2010. The sample for the survey was stratified to yield approximately equal numbers of white, black, and Hispanic respondents, with results weighted by American Community Survey data to reflect the non-institutional, adult population of the nation.

A Balanced Budget Amendment Would Threaten Social Security

 This report shows that women will be hit hardest by changing the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment from the CPI-W to the “chained CPI” for three reasons:

1) the cuts from a reduced COLA get deeper with every year of benefit receipt, and women tend to live longer than men,

2) women rely more on income from Social Security, and


House Republican Spending Cuts in H.R. 1 Devastating To Women, Families and the Economy

The bill to fund – and de-fund – the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, H.R. 1, passed the House on February 19, 2011, on a party-line vote (all but three Republicans voting voted for the bill; all Democrats voting voted against it). The bill slashes funding for services vital to women and girls at every stage in their lives, from early childhood to K-12, through their working and childbearing years, and into old age. In addition, the bill prohibits the federal government from enforcing important legal protections for women.

To find out more about how H.R. 1 affects women and families, read the National Women's Law Center's Fact Sheet.


Expert Profile

United States
38° 54' 24.5736" N, 77° 2' 33.6012" W

Judy Waxman is Vice President of Health and Reproductive Rights at the National Women's Law Center. She pioneers advocacy, policy and educational strategies to promote the quality and availability of health care, including reproductive choice, for American women. Prior to joining the National Women's Law Center, Ms. Waxman served as Deputy Executive Director at Families USA for over a decade. In that capacity, she worked to achieve high quality, affordable health and long-term care for all Americans and was a leader on grassroots and activities on Medicaid, Medicare and other health care access legislative issues. She previously served as a Professional Staff Member with the Pepper Commission (the United States Bipartisan Commission on Comprehensive Health Care). Ms.


Washington, DC 20036
United States
38° 54' 24.5736" N, 77° 2' 33.6012" W

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Economic Security Summit: How are we Doing?

By Kyla Bender-Baird

The day is finally here! Today is the Economic Security Summit, Reinvesting in Women and Families: Developing an Economy for the Future. The Council has partnered with the New York Women's Foundation, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Women's Funding Network, the Women of Color Policy Network at NYU Wagner, and the Silver Century Foundation to bring together experts in research, advocacy, policymaking, media, and philanthropy.

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