251232 Economic vulnerability of women: Undermining women's health and futures

Monday, October 31, 2011: 10:30 AM

Marcia Greenberger, JD , Co-President, National Women's Law Center, Washington, DC
Evidence demonstrates the extreme economic vulnerability of women, undermining their health and futures. Poverty among women rose from 13.0% in 2008 to 13.9% in 2009 – the highest rate in 15 years and largest single-year increase since 1980. In 2009, women working full-time, year-round were paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, with African-American women making only 62 cents, and Latinas only 53 cents. Women's gap in earnings translates into $10,849 less per year in median earnings. Women are more likely than men to have difficulty obtaining health care (52% vs. 39%). Also worrisome, as of April, 2011, during the recovery women lost 212,000 jobs while men gained 757,000 (women lost nearly three in every ten jobs cut during the recession, but filled fewer than one in seven since job growth picked up). Since women's health cannot be separated from their economic security, three top federal policy priorities will be highlighted in this presentation: (1) keep the Affordable Care Act strong and remove restrictions, so that upon full implementation, up to 15 million women will become insured and receive affordable and comprehensive insurance coverage that includes reproductive health care services; (2) pass Paycheck Fairness Act, and adopt other policies to combat unfair and unequal pay; and (3) protect programs vital to the economic security of women and their families—including the core entitlements (Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security), and key programs like SNAP (food stamps), rather than support of tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe at least two policies that combat unfair and unequal pay; 2. Describe how women's gap in earnings negatively impact health access and outcomes.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present on this topic because, as Co-President of the National Women's Law Center, I have worked on a broad range of issues affecting women's health and reproductive rights, education and employment opportunity and economic security.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.