09 May 2011

Help Working Women on Mother's Day

The following is an opinion piece sparked by new findings from a Ms. Foundation for Women poll, Community Voices on the Economy. It was originally posted on Politico.

By Anika Rahman, Ms. Foundation for Women President & CEO
May 8, 2011

For millions of struggling moms, there is little to celebrate this Mother’s Day. Though the recession technically ended months ago, the bad times are far from over for growing numbers of women. If anything, they’re getting worse.

Government cutbacks at the federal, state and local level have taken a particularly harsh toll on women and children. Without quick and effective government action, our nation is likely headed toward a full-blown “womencession” with potentially dire consequences for our long-term economic recovery.

Women across all groups are suffering, but the downward skid for low-income women has been especially steep.

The number of low-income women living paycheck to paycheck rose to 77 percent, according to a Lake Research Partners poll this spring for the Ms. Foundation for Women – an astonishing 17-point increase over results from a similar 2010 poll. By contrast, that number has remained essentially flat among low-income men — at 69 percent.

Americans overall continue to struggle. The number saying they live paycheck to paycheck is up by five points from 2010 — to 49 percent. But women across all categories report the greatest difficulties. The percentage living paycheck to paycheck jumped five points for Latinas to 63 percent, eight points for African-American women to 61 percent, eight points for unmarried women to 58 percent and four points for blue-collar women to 59 percent.

Read the full commentary on Politico.

About the Community Voices on the Economy Poll

Read a summary of the complete findings.
Read a summary of findings on the role of government in fixing the economy.
Learn what the 2010 survey uncovered.