IWPR’s Heidi Hartmann and Gina Chirillo Outline Child Care Agenda in Dissent

IWPR’s Heidi Hartmann and Gina Chirillo Outline Child Care Agenda in Dissent

In the current issue of Dissent, IWPR’s Heidi Hartmann and Gina Chirillo review research from around the world on benefits of child care and outline what a child care agenda for the progressive movement would look like.

Child care has been described by the late economist Barbara Bergmann as a merit good; it does more for society than it costs. Parents, many of whom have low incomes especially when their children are young, simply don’t have the funds to invest the optimal amount in their own children. And parents are not the only ones, or even the main ones, to benefit from their investment; well-educated children benefit all of society. As a society we underinvest in children, and only the public sector can fill the gap.

Read more at Dissentmagazine.org.

What We’re Reading Today (9/13)

Each morning, IWPR’s @landewatson compiles articles on gender, race, economics, and other policy issues IWPR staff want to know about. See below for what we’re reading today. (Note: articles included do not necessarily reflect the views of IWPR’s staff.)


NPR – Death, Sex & Money

Our Student Loan Questions Live: Part One

September 13



Here’s how much money American women earn at every age

Emmie Martin, September 12



The Wall Street Journal

Gender Pay Gap Narrows Significantly for the First Time Since Recession

Sharon Nunn, September 12
The Wall Street Journal

Record Level of Job Openings Doesn’t Mean the Labor Market is Tight

Eric Morath, September 12



Progressive Approach to Child-Care Crisis Could Go Even Bigger

Bryce Covert, September 12


The New York Times

With a Groundbreaking Handbook and a Dystopian Tale, Women Gain a Voice

Clyde Haberman, September 12


The Washington Post

U.S. middle-class incomes reached highest-ever level in 2016, Census Bureau says

Heather Long, September 12



The Apple Event Had One Female Presenter—and All Anyone Talked About Was Her Pink Coat

Stacey Leasca, September 12


The New York Times

‘It Was a Frat House’: Questions Over C.E.O.’s Conduct Cloud Social Finance

Nathaniel Popper and Katie Benner, September 12


The Wall Street Journal

Why Home Care Costs Too Much

Paul Osterman, September 12


The Washington Post

New group of experts aims to tackle vexing economic challenges. But will anyone listen?

Damian Paletta, September 13





Study Finds That Women Characters on TV Are Still More Likely to Be Mothers and Wives

Hazel Cills, September 12



The New York Times

How Not to Sustain Prosperity

The Editorial Board, September 13


The Washington Post

Why DeVos’s position on campus sexual assault is flawed

Diane L. Rosenfeld, Septembe 13


The New York Times

Liberalism and the Campus Rape Tribunals

Ross Douthat, September 13


What We’re Reading Today (9/11)

Each morning, IWPR’s @landewatson compiles articles on gender, race, economics, and other policy issues IWPR staff want to know about. See below for what we’re reading today. (Note: articles included do not necessarily reflect the views of IWPR’s staff.)



Hurricanes Like Irma Increase Risk for Sexual Assault

Jessica Firger, September 10



The Wall Street Journal

The New Corporate Recruitment Pool: Workers in Dead-End Jobs

Jennifer Levitz, September 10


The Wall Street Journal

Women With Low Grades May Be More Likely Than Men With Low Grades to Abandon STEM Studies

Ben Leubsdorf, September 8


Harvard Business Review

Research: When Men Have Lower Status at Work, They’re Less Likely to Negotiate

Hannah Riley Bowles, Bobbi Thomason and May Al Dabbagh, September 8




Per Usual, Hurricane Irma Will Especially Hurt Low-Income Residents

Whitney Kimball, September 9


The Washington Post

Yes, you can be fired for missing work while fleeing Hurricane Irma

Danielle Paquette, September 8


Huffington Post

Texas Provider Will Offer Free Abortions For Women Affected By Harvey

Jenavieve Hatch, September 7



The Wall Street Journal

Finding America’s Lost 3% Growth

Phil Gramm and Michael Solon, September 10


The Washington Post

Pay transparency could help close the ‘wage gap.’ The EEOC shouldn’t write it off.

WaPo Editorial Board, September 9


The Washington Post

Betsy DeVos could change sexual assault policy for the better

Ruth Marcus, September 8

Back to School? How Experiencing Violence Affects Educational Attainment

Back to School? How Experiencing Violence Affects Educational Attainment

By Lande Watson

As college students across the country head back to campus for the fall semester, some of their peers may not be among them. A new IWPR fact sheet on the economic cost of intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual assault, and stalking highlights the effect of such violence on the educational attainment of survivors. College-aged women are particularly vulnerable—women ages 18 to 24 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault.

Students who experience IPV and sexual violence often suffer significant physical and psychological trauma, and many do not return to college as a result. Moreover, the likelihood of running into their abuser or rapist on campus, whether in class or even in their residence, can make campus an unsafe and hostile environment for survivors, particularly if colleges do not provide ample support and accommodations.

The economic effects of violence experienced by college students can also be far-reaching. Survivors may face out-of-pocket medical costs, diminished credit, and job instability. Experiencing sexual assault also makes it less likely for survivors to finish college, which may lead to a lifetime of economic disadvantage.

IWPR has reviewed key studies that illustrate how physical and psychological trauma from violence as efforts to economically sabotage victim impedes educational attainment. Survivors complete fewer years of education than students who did not experience violence, are more likely to skip school, and often drop classes or move residence to avoid their assailant. A few findings from these studies include:

  • One survey of single mothers, a growing population of college students, found that women who experienced IPV during adolescence obtained, on average, 0.5 fewer years of education than those who did not experience violence.
  • Data from the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey showed that students who experienced dating and sexual violence were more likely to skip school due to safety concerns than their peers.
  • One analysis of seven waves of data collected between 1976 and 1987 from the National Youth Survey (NYS) of adolescents 11–17 years old showed that having experienced victimization as an adolescent was associated with a decline in effort put into schoolwork and poorer academic performance, even when controlling for income and other factors. While this analysis focuses on adolescents, poor academic performance in middle school and high school may affect survivors’ ability to find academic success in higher education.
  • The Campus Sexual Assault Study, a web-based survey from over 6,800 undergraduate students on the prevalence and nature of sexual assault on college campuses, found that in response to sexual violence, victims often avoided or tried to avoid the assailant, dropped a class, moved their residence, or sought counseling.

Further, out-of-pocket health costs associated with sexual assault or rape can be burdensome for survivors, potentially straining their ability to afford other expenses, such as college tuition. For instance, one study found the average medical cost of rape within the first 30 days following treatment to be $6,737—$948 of which was paid by the victim. In addition to these short-term costs, the lifetime financial cost of rape is significant for survivors, estimated by one study to be $122,461, on average, per victim.

As a new wave of schools fall under federal Title IX investigation for their handling of sexual assault and sexual harassment, university administrators should assess how they can support survivors on campus as they work to continue and complete their education. There are many ways to support survivors on campus: schools can help survivors by connecting them to supportive services—such as financial aid, child care, mental health support, and transportation assistance—that may assist victims in seeking justice, completing their education, and achieving greater economic mobility. Teachers, faculty, college administrators, and other educational personnel should receive training on domestic violence and its economic impact on students’ lives. The Office on Civil Rights at the Department of Education has also recommended that all schools proactively consider remedies for responding to sexual harassment and domestic or dating violence, such as providing counseling services, medical services, and arranging for the complainant to retake a course without penalty.

Colleges can take these steps so that survivors—who otherwise might not return to class this month because they are dealing with the effects of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking—can come back to school and complete their education.

What We’re Reading Today (9/6)

Each morning, IWPR’s @landewatson compiles articles on gender, race, economics, and other policy issues IWPR staff want to know about. See below for what we’re reading today. (Note: articles included do not necessarily reflect the views of IWPR’s staff.)



The Wage Gap for Black Workers Is Growing

Jenna Smialek and Jordyn Holman


The New York Times

Lasker Prizes Go to Planned Parenthood and Developers of HPV Vaccine

Heather Murphy, September 6


The Wall Street Journal

Political Divisions in U.S. Are Widening, Long-Lasting, Poll Shows

Janet Hook, September 6



The New York Times

The Ivanka Trump Guarantee

Lindy West, September 6


The New York Times

How Local Housing Regulations Smother the U.S. Economy

Chang-Tai Hsieh and Enrico Moretti, September 6



The Resegregation of Jefferson County

Nikole Hannah-Jones, September 6



What We’re Reading Today (9/5)

Each morning, IWPR’s @landewatson compiles articles on gender, race, economics, and other policy issues IWPR staff want to know about. See below for what we’re reading today. (Note: articles included do not necessarily reflect the views of IWPR’s staff.)


The New York Times

The Best Era for Working Women Was 20 Years Ago

Bryce Covert, September 2



The New York Times

To Understand Rising Inequality, Consider the Janitors at Two Top Companies, Then and Now

Neil Irwin, September 3


The New York Times

Eager to Create Blue-Collar Jobs, a Small Business Struggles

Trip Gabriel, September 4


The New York Times

Under Trump, Job Market Has Improved More for Clinton Supporters

Jed Kolko, September 5


The New York Times

Trump Shifts Labor Policy Focus From Worker to Entrepreneur

Noam Scheiber, September 3


The Wall Street Journal

Workers: Fear Not the Robot Apocalypse

Greg Ip, September 5



Betsy DeVos Will Reportedly Announce Major Changes to Campus Rape Policies This Week

Corinne Redfern, September 5


The Washington Post

Painkillers can pose problems for new mothers

Consumer Reports, September 4


The Washington Post

Reddit co-founder is latest tech executive to take parental leave

Hayley Tsukayama, September 5




The New York Times

European Court Limits Employers’ Right to Monitor Workers

Sewell Chan, September 5



Teen Vogue

Why the Fight for $15 Matters for the Millennial Generation, and for All Women

Neera Tanden, September 4


The New York Times

When the Rich Said No to Getting Richer

David Leonhardt, September 5


The New York Times

A New Type of Labor Law for a New Type of Worker

William E. Forbath and Brishen Rogers, September 4


The Washington Post

American workers will catch on to Trump’s con

E.J. Dionne Jr., September 3


The New York Times

Why We Should Put Women on Pedestals

Julia Baird, September 4


The Washington Post

Ivanka Trump has learned well from her father’s cons

Catherine Rampell, September 4

The Washington Post

The Democratic Party needs to become a workers’ party

Scott Courtney, September 4


The Washington Post

The quiet comeback of the middle class

Robert J. Samuelson, September 3


The Washington Post

It’s time to balance the power between workers and employers

Lawrence H. Summers, September 3

Happy Labor Day from IWPR!

Happy Labor Day from IWPR!


Dear IWPR Supporters and Colleagues,

Today we celebrate Labor Day. As we enjoy the last days of summer, I would like to take a moment to remember the day’s true meaning—a time to honor the contributions workers have made to strengthen the well-being of our country, the struggle for improved pay and working conditions, and the fight that our value be recognized.

As Chair of the Board for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), I’m proud to be a part of this organization and the important role we play in this on-going effort to improve working conditions and economic security for working families. Women play an essential role in the continued strength and prosperity of this country.

Early this summer, IWPR and the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) released The Status of Black Women in the United States. The report provides critical data to identify the barriers that Black women face in the workplace and to suggest investments, programs, and public policies that can lead to positive changes for Black women and their families. At the June event, “From Persistence to Power: Facts, Truth, & Equality for Women,” IWPR collaborated with Spelman College and the Wellesley Centers for Women to discuss many of the key-findings for the report. You can watch the entire event online. To read the key-findings and for more in-depth information, you can find the full report and the Executive Summary on IWPR’s website.

IWPR’s work to promote equal pay for women is important to ending poverty and improving income security for families. IWPR researchers estimate that it will take until 2059 for women to finally reach equal pay (2056 for White women, 2124 for Black women, and 2248 for Hispanic women). Black women participate in the labor force at higher rates than White, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American women, with 62.2 percent of Black women in the workforce. With the support of unions, Black women earn 32 percent more than their nonunionized counterparts.

Closing the gender wage gap would increase women’s earnings and add billions of dollars in wage and salary income to each state’s economy and $512.6 billion to the national economy. In The Economic Impact of Equal Pay by State, IWPR takes an in-depth look at the best and worst states for women workers. In the briefing paper, The Impact of Equal Pay on Poverty and the Economy, the increasingly important impact of pay equality is examined. Approximately 25.8 million children in the United States would benefit from the increased earnings of their mothers with equal pay.

The value women workers bring to the economy and the positive changes they make to our country inspire IWPR to continue to produce the reliable research that informs and promotes effective policy. At this time in our country, facts have come under attack in many ways and are challenged like never before. The news media rely on IWPR to provide them with the information necessary to tell the stories and struggles of women across the country. With your support, we can continue to fight back against misinformation and allow the media, policymakers, activists, and supporters like you to see the research for themselves.

I encourage you to take a moment today to contemplate the past, present, and future of working women in this country and how to best support their continuing achievements and struggles. As the Chair of the Board of IWPR, I ask for your support. Please make a donation to the Institute today in honor of a hard-working woman in your life.



Lorretta Johnson, Chair, IWPR Board of Directors
Secretary-Treasurer, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO