As the annual celebration – Lowell Women’s Week nears, it’s hard not to reflect on the place of women. Lowell has historically been an important place for women – their rights, working conditions, their ethnicity, culture, families, education, political influence and more. Current events – local, national and world-wide come down hard on women and their families. Yesterday we wrote about Sarah Bagley – a 19th century Lowell mill girl, writer and labor leader – today let’s look at a broader aspect of gender in today’s world.
The McClatchy News has an interesting Tony Pugh story about the “gender element” as the ecomomy struggles to recover. Some would argue against the idea that women are suffering more. Men suffered a 7 out of 10 job loss rate among the millions of jobs lost in the recession so according to Heather Boushey – senior economist at the Center for American Progress – “it’s hardly a surprise that men have landed more than 95 percent of new jobs in the recovery, or “mancovery” as it’s playing out.”
Women who had been doing well in the fastest growing jobs market – it seems – are now enduring some belated job-suffering more related to the fall-out of the recession as seen in the Wisconsin situation. More women are teachers, childcare workers, in healthcare, in the service industry – and 60% of government workers are women – all areas with more job losses as local and state governments struggle with cuts amid the continuing financial crisis.
Will women loose hard-earned gains in the job market? Do the proposed budget cuts – by both the administration and the Republicans – at the federal level fall more heavily on women? Will we return to the view that men – the stereo-typical bread winners – need the jobs more than women do? Have women yet to learn the skills necessary to get ahead and survive in the professional world, as some have charged? What about women, children and older women in poverty – can those statistic improve with current trends and attitudes?
From the McClatchy article:
The trend has given a new gender-specific meaning to the phrase “jobless recovery” and is further proof that the hiring rebound isn’t reaching all groups.
“The improvements in the overall employment picture obscure what’s happening to women. In fact, women have lost ground since the recovery began,” said a recent statement by Nancy Duff Campbell, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center.
Read the full Pugh article here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/02/21/109118/men-fare-better-as-economy-recovers.html