Lesson 11 - Lesson 11 Lecture State Law and Social Policy...

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Lesson 11 Lecture State, Law, and Social Policy It should come as no surprise that women are disproportionately affected by poverty. Many of the issues that we've discussed in this class (and a number of issues that we haven't) are explicitly or implicitly connected to poverty. Women are the shock absorbers of poverty, both in the US and in the world. American women are nearly 40% more likely to be poor than American men and 70% of the world's poorest people are women. In fact, the poverty rate has been going down for the last several decades. Unfortunately, the majority of those escaping poverty have been men, and the number of women and female-headed families who live in poverty continues to increase. This trend is often referred to as the feminization of poverty and continues to be a problem for women living in the US and for women globally. Unfortunately, poor women—and particularly poor women of color—are scapegoats for many of our societal ills. In particular, unwed mothers are often seen as the driving force behind poverty, crime and a host of other problems. Many believe that if women would just get married (and stayed married) children would be provided for, the economy would flourish, crime would go down and so would taxes. This rationale is highly problematic and in effect treats the characteristics of poverty as the cause of poverty—implicitly blaming women (particularly single mothers) for being poor. Being a single mother in our society is exceptionally difficult without things like subsidized child care or a livable minimum wage - living wage . Despite these difficulties, many women living in poverty manage to defy popular stereotypes that equate people who are poor with being lazy and unemployed. The majority of poor women with children under age 6 are employed at low wage jobs that do not pay enough to lift them out of poverty. Women who are poor are frequently eligible for Aid to Families with Dependent
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Lesson 11 - Lesson 11 Lecture State Law and Social Policy...

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