Dec 102008

Hey guess what ladies, according to the Chicago Tribune, when it comes to the economy, it seems that women on their own are disproportionately vulnerable:

“The 26 percent of all households headed by a woman earn, save and accumulate less wealth than other households. The median annual household income for women who never married or are divorced or separated was $22,592, about half of the level of all households.


Women living on their own had a median net worth of just $32,850, according to the data Montalto derived from the Federal Reserve’s most recent Survey of Consumer Finances. That’s just over a third of the $93,001 for all households.

But here’s the zinger–the Trib reports that while “low incomes clearly are a problem for women living on their own, attitudes also stand in the way”,according to Consumer Federation Executive Director Stephen Brobeck.

Say what? I don’t suppose the fact that women are more likely to be custodial parents and less likely to have health insurance and other purse-emptying realities like  that might have anything to do with our um, attitude?

Lack of a financial well-being can also be downright dangerous for women.  As the AP reports,

With the recession and the collapse of the housing market, more and more couples who have broken up are continuing to live under the same roof, according to judges and divorce lawyers. Some are waiting for housing prices to rebound; some are trying to get back on their feet financially.

But this isn’t merely a case of economic awkwardness, the situation creates the potential of very real danger for women. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, between 1998 and 2002:

  • Of the almost 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members, 49% of these were crimes against spouses.
  • 84% of spouse abuse victims were females, and 86% of victims of dating partner abuse at were female.
  • Males were 83% of spouse murderers and 75% of dating partner murderers
  • 50% of offenders in state prison for spousal abuse had killed their victims. Wives were more likely than husbands to be killed by their spouses: wives were about half of all spouses in the population in 2002, but 81% of all persons killed by their spouse.

Obviously in a divorce situation where a couple is already under stress, tempers can easily flare and it isn’t hard to see that in a situation where a couple has no economic choice but to remain under the same roof, the result could be deadly.

 December 10, 2008  Posted by on December 10, 2008

  3 Responses to “The Girls’ Guide To The Economy Part 6”

  1. Agreed – this is horrifying. A lot of women who are in those circumstances are because they have no other choice. When people say it is just “attitude” it is just blaming the victim of social inequality.

  2. Single women do have financial problems. But note that the article compares their situation to ‘all households’ , not to households consisting of single men. It’s pretty obvious that a couple with two workers (the most common setup) will have about twice the earnings of a single person living alone, on average. I’d be more interested in learning how much wealth and savings men living alone have. Right now that piece is comparing oranges with apples.

  3. […] Everyone should be aware of how the recession and economic strife are impacting women (and frequently, therefore, children and families) disproportionately.  Here’s a list of articles that provide numerous perspectives on the issues: 1. From Women’s eNews today: Women are almost twice as likely as men to hold subprime mortgages. That means the ability of many to hang on to their homes could be tied up with Senate action–expected this month–on a bill to reduce mortgage payments. 2. Feminist Peace Network wrote a nine-part series on the economic impact on women, here and around the globe.  Many of the posts offer links to more information. These entries have been published between October 2008 and March 12, 2009: The Girls’ Guide To The Economy The Girls’ Guide To The Economy–Part 2 The Girls’ Guide To The Economy Part 3–Time For A Bakesale The Girls’ Guide To The Economy Part 4–Marie Antoinette and the Katrina Analogy The Girls’ Guide To The Economy Part 5–The Shopping Edition The Girls’ Guide To The Economy Part 6 The Girls’ Guide To The Economy Part 7–Health Is Not A Luxury Item The Girls’ Guide To The Economy Part 8–There are NO Women On The Stimulus Conference Committee The Girls’ Guide To The Economy Part 9–The Impact Of The Economic Downturn On Women’s Lives 3. The Women’s Media Center asks us to think about women, poverty and the burden on President Obama in As Global Recession Drives More Women into Poverty, a Challenge to Obama. 4. Nancy Goldstein, writing for’s Broadsheet section in February, discusses how The Economy is a Feminist Issue. 5. Also in February, Ruth Rosen asked, What kind of stimulus do American women want on Talking Points Memo’s TPM Cafe. 6.  The New York Times blog, Economix, posted a entry about how early childhood education is the “ultimate growth industry” to be considered when considering the stimulus. 7. PunditMom aka Joanne Bamberger submitted a project that would involve interviewing women who live in different places all over the U.S. and chronicling their stories of how they’re kicking “the economic crisis in the butt.”  You can vote for her project through April 3, 2009. Those should get you started but good. var addthis_pub = ‘Jill’; var addthis_language = ‘en’;var addthis_options = ’email, favorites, digg, delicious, myspace, google, facebook, reddit, live, more’; […]

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