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The Poverty of Women and the Inequality of the Welfare System - Essay Example

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In our society today, women are struggling in poverty for many reasons. These range from child bearing, relationship break-down, unexpected divorce and short and varied periods of work experience. Diana Pearce argues that women-maintained families are more likely to slip into poverty, while Nancy Fraser argues that women have become the principle clients of welfare assistance, a structure which is unequally divided into female and male subsystems…
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The Poverty of Women and the Inequality of the Welfare System

Download file to see previous pages... She states that the welfare system is not designed for women on women's terms, rather, she considers that it shows,
This clarifies the concepts of the dualism of the welfare structure, and how it may be broken down into two subsystems, male and female. Diana Pearce points out that older women choose to receive social security benefit as wives rather than as individuals, due to the higher income of their husbands. If they divorced during their husband's retirement, they were more likely to receive:
A United Nations study, released in 1985, found that women do 75 percent of the world's work but only earn 10 percent of the world's wealth (Kirk and Okazawa 318). After 20 years, the situation has changed. Today, more women work for an income than ever before. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women's participation in the labor force has dramatically increased from 54 percent in 1950, with a projected increase to more than 70 percent in 2010. In spite of the growing number of women in the workforce, women's wages are usually lower than men's. The question as to why, may be answered by the fact that a patriarchal system exists which gives a false picture of the workforce. Fraser's essay informs us that these patriarchal norms have influenced our welfare system too. In our welfare system, men are considered as "rights-bearing beneficiaries" whereas women are considered as "dependent clients" (Fraser, 561).
Diana Pearce states that the rate of poor, women-maintained households has increased, especially if they have children. Despite the greater needs of women-maintained households, there is not enough support given from either private or public transfer. In public transfer, based on Fraser's characterization of the U.S. welfare system, there are two totally different characteristics of welfare. One is unemployment and social security welfare transfer (cash), that is designed to provide benefits for "right-bearers", of which women receive 38 percent of these programs. Yet more than 80 percent of those receiving Aid for Dependent Children (AFDC) are children of women-maintained households. Women also receive 60 percent of food stamps. Fraser assumes that receiving unemployment and social security compensation denotes more equality than receiving food stamps and Medicaid. This is because the latter welfare programs are:
"considered to be family failures, generally the absence of a male breadwinner"
(Fraser, 563).
Diana Pearce addresses the seriousness of women's poverty, and how it has been steadily increasing, while Fraser argues how the welfare system is unfair to women. In order to reduce the "feminization of poverty", the government needs create more jobs for women and women-maintained ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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