Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"The Feminization of Poverty"

"At the same time that women produce 75 to 90 percent of food crops in the world, they are responsible for the running of households......Furthermore, despite the efforts of feminist movements, women in the core [wealthiest, Western countries] still suffer disproportionately, because they are paid less than men, and because the vast majority of heads of single parent households are women who must support their children.  This is leading to what sociologists refer to as the “feminization of poverty,” where two out of every three poor adults globally are women. The informal slogan of the Decade of Women became “Women do two-thirds of the world’s work, receive 10 percent of the world’s income and own 1 percent of the means of production.”
....Richard H. Robbins, Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism

The term feminization of poverty,” coined in the 1970s by Diana Pearce, refers to the global problem, both in "third world" countries and the industrialized west, of the gender inequity of wealth.  Women are not the only ones who suffer as a result  - their children do as well.  

Last night I attended an "art salon", where  a young woman artist was excruciatingly apologetic about sharing some of her art because it was "feminist".  All of my efforts to get her to affirm the feelings that went into the work failed........I felt like she, and the group in general, saw me as a "strident old feminist", with all all negative trivialization that comes along with that.  Darn.  The battle is far from won.  Trivialization of women, and their concerns, and the Goddess, Who is no less than Mother Earth.... is the essence of the problem, politically and spiritually. 

In a previous Post I remembered the Suffragettes, who struggled to give women the vote some 50 years after freed male slaves were given the right to vote.
This past week, Senate Republicans voted unanimously against a bill designed to reduce the persistent pay gap between men and women  in the workplace. The bill would have increased protections for women filing gender-discrimination lawsuits, and put would responsibility on employers to prove that wage disparities between men and women (who typically earn  77 cents for every dollar a man earns) are not in place.  They voted unanimously against the same bill in 2010 as well. 

I wonder if this kind of unanimous filibuster to deny legal resort for prejudicial hiring would happen if the concern was for black people (men), or Jewish people (men), or Hispanic people (men).......I suspect the bill would have passed.  So why do we so passively accept this, along with the recent efforts to deny women birth control?    Well worth thinking about, because ultimately everyone suffers.  Because most people begin as children with mothers.

"More than 45 years after passage of the Equal Pay Act, the pay gap shockingly persists with women still earning on average 77 cents to every man’s dollar. According to the National Women’s Law Center, “This persistent pay gap translates to more than $10,000 in lost wages per year for the average female worker.
Women are half of all U.S. workers and mothers are the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of American families. The Paycheck Fairness Act would be critical to strengthening the economic security of these families. The bill would have updated the landmark Equal Pay Act of 1963 by closing loopholes, strengthening incentives to prevent pay discrimination, and prohibiting retaliation against workers who inquire about employers’ wage practices or disclose their own wages. The act would have also addressed pay secrecy, which is a prevalent problem prohibiting employees from knowing whether discriminatory practices are occurring."

President Barack Obama commented that,

“I am deeply disappointed that a minority of Senators have prevented the Paycheck Fairness Act from finally being brought up for a debate and receiving a vote.....As we emerge from one of the worst recessions in history, this bill would ensure that American women and their families aren’t bringing home smaller paychecks because of discrimination.” 

(Source: Raw Story (

1 comment:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

It's shameful, what these idiotic politicians are doIng!