05 May 2011

Ms. Foundation Releases New Poll, Finds Women Bear Brunt of Economic Crisis

Today, the Ms. Foundation for Women released findings from a major national poll that found that women are  bearing the brunt of today’s economic crisis. Two-thirds of Americans reported that the economic downturn continues to have a real impact on their lives, according to the survey, conducted by Lake Research Partners. The impact on women, however, has been particularly severe.

The survey asked Americans how they were faring in today's economy, and revisited key questions from a similar poll we commissioned last year to see if economic recovery was reaching people on the ground. With the data in hand, we can now definitively say that it is not. In fact, says Anika Rahman, Ms. Foundation President and CEO, “the impact of the economic downturn continues virtually unabated, and in some cases is far worse, especially for low-income women and women of color. The so-called economic recovery is not reaching women or others in need—not by a long stretch.”

[Read a summary of the findings.]

In a key indicator of economic security, the percentage of Americans who report living paycheck to paycheck all or most of the time was up five points over 2010 to 49 percent. But the increase among low-income women is especially staggering: 77 percent report living paycheck to paycheck, a 17-point jump from last year. Other highlights include:
  • Seventy-one percent of women and 65 percent of men say the economic downturn had some or a great deal of impact on their families.
  • Nearly half of Americans (46 percent) remain concerned that they or someone in their household could be out of a job in the next 12 months.
  • Low-income women continue to feel the greatest impact from the downturn, with 80 percent saying it has had some or a great deal of impact compared with 73 percent of low-income men. Other groups experiencing a particularly strong impact are: Latinas (74 percent); single mothers (73 percent); and women without a college degree (74 percent).
The survey also revealed that women—and a robust majority of the American public—want the government to take a stronger role in fixing the economy and creating jobs, even if it means increasing the deficit in the short-term. In fact, most Americans are concerned that deficit cuts will come at the expense of families and children. But you wouldn't know that from watching Congress at work...

“Our political leaders must quickly reprioritize, stop the reckless gutting of the budget in the name of deficit-reduction, and create jobs that will enable women, in particular, to recover,” says Anika Rahman. “If women cannot move forward, then our economy cannot move forward. And if our economy cannot move forward, neither can our nation. Certainly, with the situation as dire as Americans tell us it is, wasting one more second is something none of us can afford.”

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.

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