Women and Poverty

It seems like we were beginning to reduce the poverty rate in the U.S. by the end of the 1990s. Then as the year 2000 came around poverty levels started rising again.  By 1999 the overall poverty rate had dropped to 9.3 percent for all families, 4.9 percent for married couples without children, 11.8 percent for male households and 27.8 percent for female households. In 2010 the numbers were much higher where all families were at 11.7 percent, married couples without children were at 6.2 percent, and male households rose to 15.8 percent and women households was at a staggering 31.6percent.

In 2010 the median household income declined to $49,445.00 which was a 2.3 percent drop. The number of people without health insurance rose from 49 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010. Real median household income has been on the decline since 2007 to 6.4 percent and it is presently 7.1 percent below its peak that occurred in 2001.

Real median income declined for White’s and African American households between 2009 and 2010 but there were no statistical differences to report among Hispanics and Asians. Twenty two percent of children under the age of 18 fall into the poverty rate level. Both suburban and metropolitan areas saw an increase in the poverty rate.  Of the 16.4 million children who were living in poverty (22%) six million of them were under the age of six. The rates are much higher for children of color.

The alarming fact about these statistics is the high rate of poverty among children and women. It is disturbing that in this day and age that income inequality has allowed so many women to fall into the poverty classification. Even if the economy did not take a down turn women and children poverty rates would still be higher than the reset of the population. What are the attributing factors behind women and poverty? It is not hard to surmise that income inequality is one of the largest contributing factors.

There are many factors that come into play when considering equality in pay; still, the major factor is employers have to recognize that a woman that has the qualifications and do the same work as a man deserves the same pay. One has to ask the question why would an employer overlook a qualified male to hire a female that is not qualified and pay her less for less production? The answer is simple, an employer will not hire a less qualified woman but they would hire an equally qualified woman for less pay.

Just think about it, women perform equally as men in the work place and then they maintain a household also. Most women have to juggle getting the kids off to school, make preparations for their after school care, feed the kids when they get home, consider the children’s homework, and get them a bath and prepare for the same routine the next day. I am not saying that men are not involve in the lives of their children because I am very involve in mine just as other men are. But we have to face the facts that women are the primary care givers in most of the households and they assume a lot more responsibility for the home.

The amazing thing is women go out into the workforce and perform at a very high level after dealing with home issues. As I continue with my articles on poverty I will explore why women are subject to income inequality and higher rates of poverty.





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