Women and the Gulf Coast: Four Years Later

St. Bernard Housing Development

Four years ago, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged the Gulf Coast, unveiling a long-standing history of discrimination and need for better planning. While music festivals, parades and large scale youth gatherings bring large numbers to The Big Easy, some former public housing residents are still wondering if they’ll ever get the chance to return to the place they once called home. It is important both to remember the events that followed the storm and to recognize the problems that still affect low-income working families in New Orleans and the surrounding region. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research continues to document and analyze the circumstances and stories of women displaced by the flooding after Hurricane Katrina and by the demolition of the “Big Four” public housing developments. Survivors of the storm have found themselves without crucial supports, often abandoned by the system and struggling to stay afloat economically years after the disaster occurred.
View IWPR’s research on the women of the Gulf Coast following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita here

IWPR Mourns the Loss of a Champion of Women’s Equality

On this sad occasion for the entire nation, we wish to commend Senator Edward Kennedy’s contributions on behalf of women and families. Senator Kennedy was a leader in passing the Family and Medical Leave Act and the author of the historic Healthy Families Act, which, when passed, will for the first time guarantee workers a minimum number of paid sick days. As Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, he promoted a host of policies to benefit women, including legislating fair pay and strengthening Title IX, not to mention saving the women worker data series. Senator Kennedy was a hero for women, and we are grateful for his work to improve the lives of women and families during his lifetime and for generations to come.

<img src="http://www.iwpr.org/images/kennedyfairwage.jpg&quot; alt="Senator Kennedy, surrounded by leaders of women’s organizations, speaks in support of fair pay legislation at a press conference on Capitol Hill, January 2007
Senator Kennedy, surrounded by leaders of women’s organizations, speaks in support of fair pay legislation at a press conference on Capitol Hill, January 2007

August 26th is Women’s Equality Day, Yet Women Are Still Not Equal

Today, August 26, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day and mark the 89th anniversary of women’s suffrage. As we celebrate the victory of those who faced legislative roadblocks, public scorn, and imprisonment in order obtain the right to vote, we must also honor their lives by continuing the work they started and ensure that women achieve full equality.
The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 marked the birth of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and other prominent suffragists signed the Declaration of Sentiments demanding the right to vote. After 72 long years, national and state-by-state campaigning led by Alice Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt, and others, the Suffrage Amendment was finally ratified on August 26th, 1920. Today we honor the women and men who worked to ensure women won the right to vote – to have a voice in policies and legislative decisions affecting their lives. Progress has been made in the past 89 years, but much work lies ahead.
IWPR research shows that women still earn less than men in almost all occupation categories and the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly earnings for full time workers has experienced three consecutive years of decline. Recently, IWPR’s Dr. Heidi Hartmann pointed out that women hold jobs that are least likely to receive benefits, retirement savings plans, or pensions.
You can honor the triumphs of suffragists on Women’s Equality Day by joining with IWPR to further the progress of women. Help IWPR provide fact-based, women-centered research to advocates, policy makers, and the general public. Learn more about the work IWPR is doing, become a member, and join with us in the continued fight for equality.