Women’s Work, Mother’s Poverty: are men’s wages the best cure for women’s economic insecurity?

by Gwendolyn Mink

1. Report from the Platform Committee, Renewing America’s Promise, presented to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, August 13, 2008, p. 16.

2. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, S2002 “Median Earnings in the past 12 months (In 2007 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars) of Workers by Sex and Women's Earnings as a Percentage of Men's Earnings by Selected Characteristics,” 2007.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.; U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2007, “Annual Social and Economic Supplement, Table PINC-03: Educational Attainment – People 25 Years Old and Over, by Total Money Earnings in 2006, Work Experience in 2006, Age, Race, Hispanic Origin and Sex,” 2007.

5. Stephen J. Rose and Heidi I. Hartmann, Still A Man’s Labor Market: The Long-Term Earnings Gap, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Washington DC, 2004.

6. The WAGE Project.

7. National Women’s Law Center, “Congress Must Act to Close the Wage Gap for Women,” April 2008, p. 3.

8. Rose and Hartmann, op. cit., p. iv.

9. U.S Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007, August 2008.

10. U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Historical Poverty Tables, Table 4, “Poverty Status of Families, by Type of Family, Presence of Related Children, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1959 to 2007,” August 2008.

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid.

13. National Women’s Law Center, “A Platform for Progress: Building a Better Future for Women and Their Families,” 2008, p. 5.

14. “The Gender wage Gap by Occupation,” Institute for Women’s Policy Research Fact Sheet, April 2009.

15. Debra Cassens Weiss, “Being a Lawyer and Male Makes You a Top Earner, Census Report Shows,” abajournal.com, September 10, 2008; U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 American Community Survey, Table S2002. “Median Earnings in the past 12 months (In 2007 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars) of Workers by Sex and Women's Earnings as a Percentage of Men's Earnings by Selected Characteristics.”

16. Rose and Hartmann, op. cit., p. 18.

17. Ibid., p. iii.

18. Ibid., ch. 3.

19. Ibid., Table 13, p. 28.

20. National Women’s Law Center, “Platform,” op.cit., p. 8.

21. U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Detailed Poverty Tables, “POV01: Age and Sex of All People, Family Members and Unrelated Individuals Iterated by Income-to-Poverty Ratio and Race: 2007: Below 100% of Poverty -- All Races.”

22. Historical Poverty Tables, Table 4, op. cit.

23. U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007, op. cit., p. 7.

24. Rose and Hartmann, op. cit., p. 25

25. U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007, op. cit., p. 17.

26. P.L. 104-193, Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, Title I, Sec. 101.

27. Ibid., Title I, Part A, Sec. 401.

28. P.L. 109-171, Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. For TANF provisions see Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, “Reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program: Interim Final Rule,” Federal Register, Vol. 71, No. 125 (June 29, 2006).

29. Ibid., Sec. 7103, “Grants for Healthy Marriage Promotion and Responsible Fatherhood.”

30. See here.

31. Head Start Bulletin, “Father Involvement,” (June 2004).

32. Paula Roberts and Mark Greenberg, “Marriage and the TANF Rules: A Discussion Paper,” Center for Law and Social Policy (Washington DC, 2005).

33. “Panel 1: Confronting Poverty: What Role for Public Programs?,” and “Panel 2: Family Structure, Poverty and Family Well-Being,” Proceedings of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity Summit, Chicago-Kent Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, vol.10, no. 1 (2006).

34. In the mid-1990s, before punitive welfare-to-work policies took effect, 76% of single mothers in the U.S. were employed at least 10 hours per week, as compared to 20% in the Netherlands, 27% in the U.K., and 72% in France and Austria. See Libertad Gonzalez, “Single Mothers and Work,” Socio-Economic Review (2004), pp. 285-313.

35. See here.

36. See here.