In 2021, more than 12 million women and girls lacked health insurance; poverty rates still adversely affected women of color at higher rates than their white counterparts; and the wage gap has for women overall widened to 84 cents - National Women's Law Center

2022-09-16 22:08:59 By : Mr. Jacky Xiao

Issues:   Data on Poverty & Income, Equal Pay & the Wage Gap, Poverty & Income Security, Reforming Insurance Practices

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data on health insurance, poverty, and income from 2021.

The following is a statement by Dorianne Mason, Director of Health Equity at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):

“The data provides only a glimpse into a healthcare system that fails to meet the needs of our country. Rates of uninsurance remain high for women of color, and for women who are insured, their coverage may not even provide the health care they need. The Supreme Court’s disastorous decision to overturn the right to abortion will only compound insurmountable barriers to care, and these barriers could force more people into poverty. Until everyone has access to the quality, comprehensive health care they deserve, these numbers will expose only a fraction of the work left to be done.”

The following is a statement by Melissa Boteach, Vice President for Income Security and Child Care/ Early Learning at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):

“Today’s data underscores that poverty is a political choice not a personal failing. Even before the pandemic, too many women and families were living paycheck to paycheck – struggling to put food on the table, keep their housing, and afford diapers for their babies. The effects of the pandemic – whether illness or death, job loss, school or child care closures – sent millions of families spiraling downward.

The data released today revealed that more than 1 in 9 women lived in poverty in 2021, and those rates were worse for Black (nearly 1 in 5) and Latina (more than 1 in 6) women. The findings also underscore that when we invest in policies like unemployment protections, tax credits, rental assistance, nutrition assistance, and more – as we did in 2021 – families are protected from poverty and have greater financial security. But those critical investments, like the expanded Child Tax Credit and enhanced Unemployment Insurance coverage, have long since expired, leaving millions of families at the precipice of poverty once again. These numbers should be a wake-up call for lawmakers to permanently invest in the economic supports that families – as well as the health and longevity of our country – so urgently need.”

The following is a statement by Emily Martin, Vice President for Education and Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):

“It’s infuriating for women, year after year, to see the wage gap shrink by just a penny. Despite women making up almost half of the workforce, undervaluing the work they do is at the heart of a gender wage gap that’s barely budged in the last decade, and thrives in almost every occupation. Lost earnings compound and women stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime—with some women of color losing a million dollars or more to the wage gap. Since pay discrimination is often cloaked in secrecy, there’s urgency to finally pass laws that will bring pay practices into light such as requirements that salary ranges be posted in job announcements. Equal pay advocates are pressing Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act that would bar retaliation against workers who talk about pay and prevent employers from relying on salary history to set pay when hiring new employees—so pay discrimination no longer trails women from job to job.”

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