Where They Stand
This year's election may be one of the most important of our time; the Women's Funding Network encourages you to inform yourself about how the candidates view issues crucial to women. Below are links to the candidates' positions on their Websites:
The coming election is crucial to the status and wellbeing of women, which is why we must make our voices heard. Recent turmoil in the global markets has highlighted the importance of each of the presidential candidates’ stances on the economy. Our next president will need to focus on the financial instability our country faces and provide triage to the casualties of this economic crisis.
Women are a vital part of the U.S. and global economy. The mortgage meltdown and ensuing financial devastation present a major risk to women’s welfare worldwide. Recent data from the Institute of Women’s Policy Research (a Women’s Funding Network member) reveal women of all races are more likely to hold subprime mortgages than white men, and African American women in particular have been disproportionately impacted, with approximately 60 percent holding subprime mortgages.
Below you can read about key issues affecting women in the United States and a guide to where the candidates stand.
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Women and Poverty
Poverty is one of the most pressing challenges the world faces, and women are disproportionately affected. Women account for 70 percent of those living in poverty – both in the U.S. and worldwide.
Women and Hunger
Increasingly women are the breadwinners of the home, and single mothers bear the burden of being the sole providers of food for their children. A study from 2003-2004 stated more than 17% of women did not have food security; minorities were disproportionately in need.1 Many low-income working mothers rely on work support benefits and other public benefits and women represent 8.5 million (or 68 percent) of the nearly 12.5 million adults receiving food stamps in the U.S.2 However, these benefits often end abruptly when a family's income exceeds eligibility limits. In other words, the current system acts as a disincentive to work harder. Championing a change in the current system would resonate both with low-income women who experience this problem in their daily lives and with the general population who disapprove of policies that fail to encourage hard work and self-sufficiency.
Women and Employment
Women’s funds and women’s rights groups have been fighting for equal pay for equal work for years. Although there has been a slow but steady closing of the wage gap, women still earn on average only 77% of what men earn for comparable work.3 Despite the fact that women earn less than men, more than 7 million families with children relied only or mostly on women’s income.
Women and Healthcare
Nearly 18% of women in the United States are uninsured, and with the increasing costs of healthcare, access for low income families is virtually impossible. 90% of women had at least one health care expense in 2004 and the average cost including insurance coverage was $4,158 for females.4 For a family living at the Federal poverty level, one expense could be nearly one fifth of their yearly income.
Women and Childcare
Childcare is one of the largest monthly expenses for women. A Children’s Defense Fund study found childcare costs between $4,000 and $10,000 a year for each child, which rises for babies and people living in high-cost areas.5