Report: Women Suffering Disproportionate Impact of Current Recession

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released a report showing the drastic effects of the current economic recession on women. The report, "Taking a Toll: The Effects of Recession on Women," says that women are facing new and heightened risk in this uncertain economy. In the past year, for example, the unemployment rate among adult women workers has gone up more rapidly than for men--rising from 3.8 percent in March 2007 to 4.6 percent in March 2008, an increase of 20 percent, compared with a 17 percent increase among adult men, the report says. The downturn has caused women's wages to fall, and this decline is significantly larger than what men have suffered.

The report shows women also are disproportionately at risk in the current foreclosure crisis, since women are 32 percent more likely than men to have subprime mortgages. And because women earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men and have significantly fewer savings to fall back on in a time of economic hardship, the current strain on women and on households run by women is all the more exacerbated, the report says.

"These findings demonstrate the severe and disproportionate impact of this recession on women and their families," said Kennedy. "We need to act immediately to restore women's right to fair pay, provide workers with paid sick days, and shore up programs that help workers and families endure hard times." The full text of the report can be found at www.kennedy.senate.gov.

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