The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare was joined by Congressional leaders and our allies in the fight for women’s rights in a media teleconference held on Thursday, October 9th. We launched our new project, “Eleanor’s Hope” named in honor of Eleanor Roosevelt, to mobilize women of all ages to advocate for income equality, income security and health protection for women.
Listen to the recording of the press call.
As the midterm election heads into its final weeks, advocates for women's financial security are girding up for another round of battles over Social Security and Medicare, the age-old safety net programs upon which women disproportionately depend.
With an aim to change the national conversation from cutting Social Security and Medicare to increasing funding for the programs, the "Eleanor's Hope" project was launched this week with the help of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Emma Watson, the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador better known as Hermione from Harry Potter, delivered a speech to the delegates gathered in New York championing feminism and pledging to end gender inequality. Big task! Her campaign will tackle, among other things, the fact that women are paid so much less than men, even in countries like the United States and the U.K., where we are allegedly no longer discriminated against.
The pay gap between men and women narrowed last year, but not by much. Women earned 78.2 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2013, up from 76.5 cents in 2012, according to income data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. That gap is essentially unchanged from before the recession and is slow progress from 1961, when women earned about 60 cents for every dollar.
During your lifetime, a remarkable change has taken place. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average life expectancy at birth for women in the United States increased from 74.7 years in 1970 to 80.4 years in 2005. At age 65 the average female life span has increased from 17 to 20 years; and women now outlive men by about five years from birth, on average.
In the context of a lost decade of wage growth for women, two recent proposals -- to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour (including increasing the separate minimum wage for tipped workers), and to increase the threshold salary for overtime pay to $50,000 annually -- can provide much needed relief to women.
Trying to hold onto a job while caring for a family member is a tough juggling act. Caregivers sometimes have to arrive late or leave early, cut back to part-time work, and decline travel or promotions.
This report provides a gender analysis of national and state poverty and income data for 2012, released by the Census Bureau in September 2013. The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) supplies this analysis, as it has for several years, because little information broken out by gender is available directly from the Census Bureau’s series of reports titled Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States. Determining, for example, if there were changes to the poverty rates for black women or women 65 and older living alone, or the gap between the earnings of Hispanic women and white, non-Hispanic men, requires examining separate detailed Census Bureau tables – which is the way NWLC prepared this report. Insecure & Unequal provides a snapshot of poverty and income data in 2012, nationally and by state – and documents changes in poverty and the wage gap nationally from 2011 to 2012 and since 2000. However, its scope is largely confined to statistical analysis; it does not attempt to capture what poverty and economic insecurity mean in real terms for women, their families, and their futures.
Many American workers are reaching retirement age, and they're now facing questions about whether to retire or whether they can even afford it. When the time comes, more than half of American households may find they haven't saved enough for retirement, and that's especially true for women.
Read Dr. Dodd's testimony to Senate Finance Committee
“I am fifty years old and the 27 years I have been working have been a combination of full-time and part-time employment, with several years of no employment so that I could stay home with my baby. I am back to work full-time now but want to know how all of this will affect my Social Security benefit when I am retired?”
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