In the United States (and the rest of the world) women have been faced with the phenomenon of the "feminization of poverty". Starting in the 1960s and 70s, female headed households accounted for a growing proportion of those below the poverty line. A considerable majority of these women are either divorced or never married mothers. In 2000, 11% of all families in the United States lived in poverty as opposed to 28% of families headed by single mothers. For these single mothers, there are a number of contributing factors to remaining poor.
[...] Consequently, political and social programs must be developed to address the feminization of poverty. While women are more independent and more active in the workforce than in the past, policies have not been developed to deal with the negative implications which keep them and their children in poverty. Currently, programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and The Child Care and Development Block Grant have helped poor women. Nonetheless, most destitute women find only unstable, low-wage jobs that do not enable them to lift their families out of poverty. [...]
[...] Another issue for women facing poverty is the growing number or divorces and single mothers. When a woman gets a divorce, her standard of living generally drops; however, for a man the standard of living increase by 42 percent within that same year. The increase in divorce, coupled with the decline in marriage, means that an increasing proportion of adult women are living independent of men and relying on themselves to fulfill their and their children's financial needs. Upon leaving the workforce a woman sacrifices her pension, advancement opportunities, and higher pay. [...]
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