PORTSIDE Archives

May 2011, Week 4

PORTSIDE@LISTS.PORTSIDE.ORG

Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Subject:
From:
Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Date:
Tue, 24 May 2011 21:27:01 -0400
Content-Type:
text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
text/plain (226 lines)
Leaders of Women's Organizations Send Letter to President
Calling for Meeting on Budget, Ask That Women Be Included in
Deficit Talks

    Task force says discussions on reducing deficit need to
    address women's concerns.

Older Women's Economic Security 
May 24, 2011

http://www.womensorganizations.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=742&Itemid=95

Washington, DC

The Older Women's Economic Security (OWES) Task Force, part
of the National Coalition of Women's Organizations (NCWO), in
a letter today to President Barack Obama called for the
concerns of women to be considered in budget talks to reduce
the deficit. The task force asked that members of the
administration with expertise on women's issues be added to
the White House's advisory team discussing strategies to
reduce deficit spending.

"It is simply not enough to send a few privileged men to the
table to `solve' the nation's budget problem," states the
letter from the OWES Task Force. "We welcome the opportunity
to bring our voices and expertise to a discussion with you
and your advisors, and we request that members of your
administration with expertise on women's issues, such as
Secretary Hilda Solis and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, be
added to the White House's advisory team working on these
negotiations."

Signers to the letter include leaders from the National
Organization for Women (NOW), the Black Women's Health
Imperative, the Business and Professional Women's Foundation,
Dialogue on Diversity, the Older Women's League, U.S. Women's
Chamber of Commerce, Women's Committee of 100, the Women's
Institute for a Secure Retirement, the Women's Research and
Education Institute, and the YWCA USA.

"Under the guise of reducing the deficit, conservatives in
Congress have set their sights on cutting programs that
disproportionately employ and serve women," said NOW
President Terry O'Neill. "Who will stand up for the millions
of women who rely on these programs? Leaving it to the men is
not the answer. Women must play a critical role in these
negotiations."

Today, congressional leaders are gathering to meet with Vice
President Joe Biden and his economic advisors at the historic
Blair House to address the deficit. The talks come at a time
when cuts to programs that are vital to women and their
families-including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security-
are being considered within far-reaching budget plans.

The old boys club meeting has consisted of Republican House
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), U.S. Senators John Kyl
(R-AZ), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Max Baucus (D- MT), Reps. Jim
Clyburn (D-SC), and Chris Van Hollen (D- MD), who have
convened for the budget negotiations with Vice President
Biden, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Budget Director Jack
Lew, and economic adviser Gene Sperling.

Social Security is a lifeline to many older women, keeping
them out of poverty. According to a report from the Institute
for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), in 2009, Social Security
helped more than 14 million Americans aged 65 and older stay
above the poverty line. Without access to Social Security, 58
percent of women and 48 percent of men above the age of 75
would be living below the poverty line.

Women are now faced with an added economic challenge because
they are not getting their fair share of jobs in the
recovery. Even though the recession was dubbed a `mancession'
jobs are now being gained at a faster rate for men than for
women. While men have recovered 24 percent of the jobs they
lost during the recession, women have recovered only 14
percent of the jobs they lost. Single mothers and women of
color are particularly at risk; their unemployment rates
remain in the double digits.

The gender wage gap is an ongoing economic hurdle for women,
who have lower median earnings than men in 107 out of 111
occupations, regardless of levels of education, according to
research from IWPR.

Below is the full text of the letter to the President from
the The Older Women's Economic Security (OWES) Task Force:

Dear Mr.  President:

We, the undersigned members of the Older Women's Economic
Security Task Force of the National Council of Women's
Organizations, write to request a meeting with you and the
Vice President to discuss the impact of the budget on women
and American families and how women can help address the
economic problems that affect us all. Women rely
disproportionately on Social Security and Medicare, and they
must have a voice in any negotiation on these essential--and
successful--programs. Yet the media reports regarding the
administration's experts who are assisting Vice President
Biden suggest that there are no women in the room. In 2011,
it is disturbing to have to ask why women would not
participate in virtually every important discussion in the
White House.

We would like to bring you the real stories from women who
make up the struggling families and hard-working people all
across our country who are in the throes of a rocky recovery
in which women are being left behind. While men have
recovered 24 percent of the jobs they lost during the
recession, women have recovered only 14 percent of the jobs
they lost. Single mothers and women of color are particularly
at risk; their unemployment rates remain in the double
digits.  The federal government's failure to create a robust
jobs program means that many more women will lose their jobs
as state and local governments reduce their workforces. Women
are being asked to shoulder a burden that is not of their
making, to pay a "fair share" of the sacrifice that is needed
when they are not getting a fair share of the jobs in the
recovery or equal pay for an equal day's work.

The National Council of Women's Organizations is composed of
more than 200 women's organizations representing more than 12
million American women. The Older Women's Economic Security
(OWES) Task Force was formed in 1998 to study, monitor, and
act to enhance older women's economic security. This task
force represents economists and activists, service providers
and community organizers, legal, political, and social
networks who have vital expertise and national recognition as
problem solvers and protectors of the rights and
responsibilities of our nation's women and children.

The Task Force is deeply concerned about the impact of the
current proposals for budget cuts and debt reduction on older
women's lives. Older women would be disproportionately
affected by cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Their families also face loss of income and increased costs
when such vital programs and services as family planning,
work training, child care, schools, and education are cut or
terminated.

Women must be a party to these discussions. It is simply not
enough to send a few privileged men to the table to "solve"
the nation's budget problem. We welcome the opportunity to
bring our voices and expertise to a discussion with you and
your advisors, and we request that members of your
administration with expertise on women's issues, such as
Secretary Hilda Solis and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, be
added to the White House's advisory team working on these
negotiations.

Respectfully yours,

Terry O'Neill Co-Chair, OWES Task Force President, National
Organization for Women

Dr. Heidi Hartmann Co-Chair, OWES Task Force President,
Institute for Women's Policy Research

Eleanor Hinton Hoytt President and CEO, Black Women's Health
Imperative

Deborah L. Frett Chief Executive Officer, Business and
Professional Women's Foundation

Cristina Caballero President, Dialogue on Diversity

Bobbie A. Brinegar Executive Director, Older Women's League

Margot Dorfman, Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Women's Chamber
of Commerce

Cindy Hounsell President, Women's Institute for a Secure
Retirement

Susan P. Scanlan President, Women's Research and Education
Institute

Gloria Lau Chief Executive Officer, YWCA USA

Lulu Flores President, National Women's Political Caucus
(NWPC)

Linda Lisi Juergens Executive Director, National Association
of Mothers' Centers (NAMC)

Julia Wartenberg Director, Global Women's Project at the
Center of Concern

Cynthia Harrison Vice-Chair, Women's Committee of 100

Ariel Dougherty Director, Media Equity Collaborative

###

The National Council of Women's Organizations is composed of
more than 200 women's organizations representing more than 12
million American women. The Older Women's Economic Security
(OWES) Task Force was formed in 1998 to study, monitor, and
act to enhance older women's economic security. This task
force represents economists and activists, service providers
and community organizers, legal, political, and social
networks who have vital expertise and national recognition as
problem solvers and protectors of the rights and
responsibilities of our nation's women and children.

___________________________________________

Portside aims to provide material of interest to people
on the left that will help them to interpret the world
and to change it.

Submit via email: [log in to unmask]

Submit via the Web: http://portside.org/submittous3

Frequently asked questions: http://portside.org/faq

Sub/Unsub: http://portside.org/subscribe-and-unsubscribe

Search Portside archives: http://portside.org/archive

Contribute to Portside: https://portside.org/donate

ATOM RSS1 RSS2