Why are more women living in poverty?

We all like to believe that we have gender equality in America, but when we actually look at the facts, we realize that it just isn’t so. Women do not make as much money as men in the workforce. As a matter of fact, a white woman makes 77% of what a man does, African American women make even less, around 63%, and Hispanic women, a shockingly low 54%. Did you know that a women who is working full time with a bachelors degree is still making 14% less than a man with the same job? With these statistics, we hardly need to wonder why there are more women living in poverty than men. But wait, there’s more! When women become pregnant, a lot of things change for them. They will not have the same job opportunities, and if it happens during the time of an education, often times women will have to set their education aside to care for the baby. This is particularly worse for single mothers. Out of every ten parents that have full custody of their child, eight of them are women. Those women are twice as likely to be living in poverty as a father with custody would. It would only make sense that a women would have a hard time taking care of a baby with 77%-54% of the money a man would make, if she is lucky. But often times the jobs women have to choose from are referred to as “pink collar” jobs. Examples of these are waitressing, child care, and cleaning. Studies show that almost half of working women in the US work in only 20 different occupations, all of which make less than 30,000 a year. Yet, these still aren’t the only reasons women are pushed to live in poverty. In a survey taken by the U.S. conference of mayors, half of cities identified domestic abuse as a leading cause of homelessness in women. Collectively, women affected by domestic violence have lost up to 8 million days of work due to abuse. Discrimination is alive in the workforce when it comes to gender and race. We have not achieved equality yet, and there are more steps that need to be taken in the direction of equality. Starting with equal pay of all genders and races.

-Madeline Howardwomen_poverty3






5 thoughts on “Why are more women living in poverty?

  1. I am glad you found data to prove this inequality, as many people refuse to believe it exists. It is a shame that many women (more so than men) are left abused, abandoned, etc. to care for their kids alone. Many of these children growing up in poverty will no be able to afford an education and will likely have to struggle through life on low-paying jobs. Another issue for single working mothers is affording child care. I believe that the entire nation would benefit if big businesses began to offer free child care for their employees and well as paid maternity leave.


  2. I am not still convinced with this data. I am not sure how they average individuals’ income, because apparently there are more rich men than rich women, so that we might have to different data to analyze actual middle class income in different gender and age. And it looks little extreme to make a prediction more women live in poverty, because they are making less money. They might make less money but not necessarily live in poverty. I would like to see more data. Jisung Yu


  3. Pregnancy can really change the opportunities a woman will get in their life time raising babies is hard and time consuming. Without a good support system who’s to watch your baby while you work and you need to work to support your baby but now you need to also pay someone to watch your baby. To make it worse America is the only industrialized nation without paid maternity leave. So to add to the struggles of poverty women now have to take care of their newborn child and not get paid for the time they need to take off.
    -Shelby Simmons


  4. Thank you for sharing this! I was having this conversation with a classmate the other day and the numbers are staggering. We like to claim we are the most fair country in the world but we still have a long way to go.

    -Matthew J Schiesl-


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