Women and welfare is a relative issue based on the fact that the lack of resources available to women are limited. Access to education, pay gap, and health rights are three main reasons to why the standard of living for a women is significantly lower. Although it is important for the government to allocate funding for women to recieve equal resources and opportunities, this issue begins with how patriarchy and capitalism has influenced society. Patriarchy is the start of this issue between women and welfare, because it has created a gap between genders, degraded women, which has put women out of reach for certain opportunities.
According to the United States Bureau of the Census in 1996, there were 44.3% of female headed households with children living in poverty (Gellman). From then to now this issue has only worsened. It is perspicuous that women continuously find themselves dependent on other people. This may because of unwed pregnancies, death, divorce, and a majority of those individuals who collect benefits from various welfare programs are women. The cycle of reliance is a result of a funnel of failure that women tend to fall victim to. Women are left living in poverty, uneducated, risk of many health issues due to structural issues in society. Women’s welfare is a social welfare program which seeks to promote welfare to women by giving special attention to the promotion of skills of employment and self actualization. In order for women to receive welfare they must meet an extensive amounts of requirements.
The different types of welfare programs that the government has created are, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Each of these programs were created to help women reach their full potential. The qualifications that women need to meet for these programs are dependent child living in the home, all minors must attend school, must be 18 years or older, must be a legal and permanent citizen of the United States. Although these programs are being put in place their are many prevailing issues women still face with welfare. Employment opportunities even in wealthy countries is still a current issue. It is estimated that for every dollar a man earns a women only earns 77 cents. “Women earn only one-tenth of the world’s income despite working two thirds of the total work hours” (Glick). A way to resolve this issue is to educate women on fair share and how that could benefit the entire community in the long run. Women would be more inclined to invent which would put money into their families while restoring the community. Another issue women face with welfare is access to health resources. According to an article in Global Citizen, it is estimated that eight hundred women die every day due to preventable pregnancy related contentions. The author of the article “9 key issues affecting girls and women around the world” written by Hans Glick has found that nearly 300,000 lives are lost in a life creating event. That number could be significantly reduced if women had a great education higher than primary school. In 2013 a report by UNESCO has found that nearly thirty-one millions girls were not in school. That number exemplifies an outrageous amount of unused female power. In the report it is stated that educated women are more likely to raise healthy children, find work, get married later, and even earn more money (Glick). This being said, each of these problems could all be resolved by starting with access to education. In order to fix this core issue further than education, it starts and begins with patriarchy.
Patriarchy is a term used in feminism to describe the system of gender based hierarchy in society which assigns power to men, and put a higher value to men. Although some might believe that the government has the ability to fix this issue by funding more programs this will only prolong this situation. In the future year of 2019, the United States government will be spending and estimated amount of $1,179 billion on welfare, including federal, state, and local. This will also be including a total of $721 billion on Medicaid, $458 billion on other welfare programs. (What is the Spending on Welfare, 1). Even though the amount being spent on these programs have significantly increased, the number of women dependent of welfare has also increased. In the fourth quarter of 2012, an estimated amount of 110 million American were receiving some type of government assistance. That is about thirty-five percent of the United States total population. Of that percentage, women are more likely to need help through welfare programs. As of 2011, twenty-five percent of those who aged from 16 to 64 were receiving benefits. Men who range around the same age received slightly more than nineteen percent of some type of welfare (Lake). Single mothers who are the headed households are more likely to be on welfare. According to studies, in 2011 single mothers represented fifty-five percept of the total welfare population. Compared to in 2000, that percentage was only thirty-seven. For starters, not all the work has been created equal. Research found in Welfare Statistics in America states that a suggested one-third of women did not see a increased pay check…………… Other studies that shown that a majority of women were no longer on welfare worked low-wage jobs without benefits. Consequently, many children and women will continue to live in poverty, without a likely chance of a leg up on welfare (Passy).
The root between women and welfare first began with patriarchy, and allowing men to be the hierarchy. Women at various levels have been subjugated levels such as political, ecnomonic, social, and cultural. Patriarchy dictates femininity and masculinity character stereotypes in society which strengthens the godly powerful relationship between and women and men. The beliefs and practices of the patriarchal system de powers a women. Women ultimately feel powerless when they are told to believe that they are unstable and unable to cope with physical and social demands. The economic environment of a domestic household where a housewife and her contribution in running it is devalued and look down upon. In society it is expected for a women to be only capable of running a household and nothing more. Domestically, the husband is the sequestrate class. Meaning that paid employment describes that patriarchal relations on the job refers to women being given worse jobs and being paid less than a man for the exact same job. The state supports to its patriarchal, racist, and capitalist interest by choosing not to intercede or be slow in intervening in cases of injustice against women. For example, women have the freedom to move around and earn a subsistence, but may not have control over the money she earns for herself. To this current day it is still managed by the patriarchs within a family.
Therefore, there is variance distinction between experiences of empowerment and creating conditions for empowerment (Gellman). The nature of vanquisting and control of women varies from one patriarchal society to the other. Patriarchy is not a constant and gender relations which are complex and dynamic. There has been change over periods of history, but not completely for the better. The commendatory conditions created for empowerment are present in the environment and are outermost to the women a term known as eve empowerment. The word “to empower” means to authorize, delegate or give legal power to someone. The feminist movements have resulted in feminine meticulation against patriarchal subjugation. Consequently, many contemporary studies have been carried out to study empowerment. If conditions favoring eve empowerment make a women experience empowerment, then it is termed as psychological empowerment (Gellman). Psychological empowerment is a impetes construct and is commenced within an individual. Since eve empowerment is a measure of surmount patriarchal beliefs and practices, it would enable women to experience a choice on domestic matters and control. Feminism is a perception of patriarchal control, oppression, and exploitation at the ideological and material levels of women’s labor at work, and in the general society, is ultimately caused by actions of men. In the article “Female-Headed Households and the Welfare System” written by Lauren Gellman, a study about psychological empowerment in a home. This refers to the experience of components related to household activities and work. Therefore, it is safe to presume that eve empowerment will facade to experience of psychological empowerment in a home. Since education impacts socialization and endorses modern values, it is logical to Organizations may introduce women-friendly policies like flexi-time, second career, removing the glass-ceiling, and reservation for women. But in the current scenario, when the society is driven by patriarchal values, the effort towards changing the condition of women will have only surface-level impact. Deep-level impact will take place only when the concept of patriarchy is shaken and conditions supporting eve empowerment are created for women to experience psychological empowerment.
More and more programs are being created to resolve this issue, but since the government does not see this issue as a priority, then it will never become resolved. Raising awareness and having each state focus more on helping those who need help, will benefit the overall economy. Economic programs are only way to help hinder this issue but it is not the main solution. You can not just tell a women to stop having kids if she can not afford them. The number one area that should be fixed first, is the root of patriarchy. Educating women that they are equals and understanding their rights, and breaking barriers that created the gender gap will ultimately improve this issue of women and welfare. Start with children by making it mandatory for children to graduate college. This is start a revolution for women, and see the change in the world.
- Gellman, Lauren. “Female-Headed Households and the Welfare System.” HOPES Huntington’s Disease Information, HOPES Huntington’s Disease Information, 4 June 1999, web.stanford.edu/class/e297c/poverty_prejudice/soc_sec/hfemale.htm.
- Glick, Hans. “9 Key Issues Affecting Girls and Women around the World.” Global Citizen, 4 June2015 ,www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/9-key-issues-affecting-girls-and-women-around-the/
- Kaiser, Henry. “The Role of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.” Clasp.org, www.clasp.org/sites/default/files/public/resources-and-publications/publication-1/0128.p
- Df. Lake, Rebecca. “23 Shocking Statistics of Welfare in America.” CreditDonkey, 23 May 2016, www.creditdonkey.com/welfare-statistics.html.
- Passy, Jacob. “How Welfare Reform Made Women Worse Off.” MarketWatch, MarketWatch, 28 Feb.2018,www.marketwatch.com/story/how-welfare-reform-made-women-worse-off-20 18-02-26.
- “What Is the Spending on Welfare?” Government Spending in United States: Federal State Local for 1961 – Charts Tables History, www.usgovernmentspending.com/welfare_spending.
- “Women, Infants and Children (WIC).” Food and Nutrition Service, 11 May 2018, www.fns.usda.gov/wic/wic-eligibility-requirements.