There are many reasons why families headed by women are likely to be poor. Probably first among these is the fact that women are almost always the ones who bear the responsibility of childcare, whether they are working outside the home or not. Sidel contends that the lack of adequate and affordable day care has prevented many women from working or getting the training or education necessary to support her family. Furthermore, of the women awarded child support by the courts in 1981, only 47 percent received the full amount while 37 percent got less than half and a shocking 28 percent got nothing at all (Sidel:104). Mothers who do manage to get both day care and a job are still likely to be poor, though, because of the dual labor market. Women continue to earn an average of 64 percent of what men earn and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fully two-thirds of them still work in low-paying, dead-end jobs in the service, retail, or clerical fields (Sidel:61). The effects of the sexual segregation of the work force are clear when we realize that, "the higher the proportion of female workers in a given occupation, the lower the wages relative to men's will be." (Sidel:67)
The problem seems to be that American society still doesn't really believe that women should be working outside of the home. The antiquated attitude that women are temporary and undependable workers taking jobs away from men with families to support lingers on to prevent equal employment opportunity and pay equity.
The third underlying cause I will address concerns governmental policy and societal attitudes toward the poor. Sidel argues that Americans tend to cling to the Protestant ethic and consider people morally inferior for being poor. It seems ridiculous to call poor women who are working outside the home as well as doing all of the domestic chores and child-rearing lazy or corrupt, yet it is precisely this attitude which Ronald Reagan espoused...
Women and Children in Poverty. (2000, January 01). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 07:41, November 26, 2014, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1303612955.html