Because I am a Woman

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Posts tagged "poverty"

For the millions of American women who live this way, the dream of “having it all” has morphed into “just hanging on.” Everywhere they look, every magazine cover and talk show and website tells them women are supposed to be feeling more “empowered” than ever, but they don’t feel empowered. They feel exhausted.

Many of these women feel they are just a single incident—one broken bone, one broken-down car, one missed paycheck—away from the brink. And they’re not crazy to feel that way:

-Women are nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage workers in the country.
-More than 70 percent of low-wage workers get no paid sick days at all.
-Forty percent of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income.
-The median earnings of full-time female workers are still just 77 percent of the median earnings of their male counterparts.

To be poor is not simply to lack money. Forgetting your wallet at home doesn’t make you poor. Poverty is political.
Teju Cole (via whitedenial-ontrial)

(via sociolab)

When we Americans want to do something about poverty, we usually set about “improving” poor people. We may offer education or job training, establish programs to develop the parenting skills of young mothers, require addiction treatment as a condition for receiving housing, put a time limit on welfare benefits in order to motivate poor people to work, or refuse additional welfare payments to discourage future childbearing.

This practice of improving poor people has a long history. Early American reformers traced extreme poverty to intoxication, laziness, and other kinds of unacceptable behavior. They tried to use public policy and philanthropy to elevate poor people’s characters and change their behavior. As the years passed, different sets of behaviors were blamed for poverty and successive methods suggested to improve the poor. Later reformers looked to evangelical religion, temperance legislation, punitive poor houses, the forced breakup of families, and threats of institutionalization - all to improve poor people.

This approach has rested on the individual belief that the individual faults of the poor are the primary causes of poverty: ignorance, lack of training, addiction, laziness, defective character, sexual promiscuity, too many children; the list goes on and on. It is not surprising, of course, that a nation so strongly committed to individualism should so often search for the roots of poverty within the poor persons themselves.

David Hilfiker, M.D. in Urban Injustice

Fun fact: this is also why it is still illegal to sell alcohol on Sundays in some places. 

(via versatilequeen)

(via feministavegana)

Melissa Harris-Perry: Nothing is riskier than being poor in America [full video]

(via mustbemotswana)


The resolution ”affirms the importance of women’s reproductive rights” and “urges Congress and the states to pursue a positive agenda that reaffirms fundamental rights and improves women’s access to safe and comprehensive reproductive-health care.”

Other resolutions support healthy eating, local farms and purchasing, and increased access to healthy food, especially in inner cities, increased funding for CDBG grants to provide quality, affordable housing, the reauthorization of VAWA including support for undocumented victims, eliminating the backlog of untested rape kits, reducing sex trafficking of minors, and empowering parents to ensure their child gets a good education and transform failing schools.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors sends representatives from cities with populations of 30,000 or more. They use their collective voice to influence national policy by distributing resolutions to the President and Congress.

Perhaps someday they’ll recognize that the health care issues they speak about affect everyone with the ability to get pregnant, not just cis women.

I applaud these politicians for putting their collective power toward the important causes listed above. Here is a tidbit from the section on reproductive rights:

WHEREAS, these programs are essential to reducing rates of unintended pregnancy and preventing the increase of the number of women with cervical and breast cancers who are not diagnosed until the cancers are in the late stages; and 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors affirms the importance of women’s reproductive rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress and the states to pursue a positive agenda that reaffirms fundamental rights and improves women’s access to safe and comprehensive reproductive-health care. 

Although the language of their documents may be gendered, it is good to see them standing up for safe and comprehensive health access.


From The Guardian:

Tens of millions of new jobs can be created around the world in the next two decades if green policies are put in place to switch the high-carbon economy to low-carbon, the UN has said.

Between 15m and 60m additional jobs are likely, according to a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep). These are net gains in employment for the world economy, taking into account any job losses in high-carbon industries that fail to transform.

Achim Steiner, executive director of Unep, said: “The findings underline that [the green economy] can include millions more people in terms of overcoming poverty and delivering improved livelihoods for this and future generations. It is a positive message of opportunity in a troubled world of challenges.”

As well as generating net new gains in the number of jobs, the switch to a green economy could help to lift millions of people out of poverty.

In the US, there are now about three million “green jobs”, in sectors such as wind power and energy efficiency, the study found. In the UK, the number is close to one million and has been one of the few areas of the economy that has been creating jobs. There are about 500,000 people working in green jobs in Spain. In the developing world, too, the number is growing rapidly – about 7% of people employed in Brazil, amounting to three million people, are now in the green economy.

However, realising the full potential of green jobs depends on countries taking action to develop the green economy and bringing in policies that will foster investment, according to the report.

Check out the rest of the article here.