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New Orleans Women Struggling to Get By


Once again, yet another study, The Women of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast published by the Institute for Women's Policy Research has found that poor women have benefited the least from the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans and few have returned because they cannot afford to return (housing costs have risen) and jobs for women are fewer (women now account for 10% less of the workforce than before the hurricane) and use of foodstamps has quadrupled.

As noted in Salon's Broadsheet:
A favorite approach of some cultural anthropologists is to look at the women of a given society as a gauge of its overall well-being. By that approach, post-Katrina New Orleans is floundering. No surprise there: We're all familiar with the criticism leveled at the government for the city’s still lingering disaster. But the Times-Picayune reports that, according to a study released Friday, the women-as-indicator approach paints an even grimmer image than we're used to.

Even for women in the highest paying jobs, the inequality grows, it doesn't lessen. With women earning between $30,000-$63,000 and men earning between $38,700-$130,000. The answer is, of course, always the same:
The answer, you ask? Jones-DeWeever pointed to the need to encourage women to return by offering "better opportunities for good jobs along with child care and schools for their children." Also, the report "calls on federal, state and local officials to step up their efforts to provide housing for the working poor and offer women a bigger role in the planning and rebuilding process," according to the Times-Picayune.

Always, it's child care, education, housing, and (not mentioned, but always in the background) healthcare. When is the United States going to join the rest of the "Developed World" in providing these basic services? Aren't we supposed to be "the best"?

If you want to do something for the women of New Orleans here is one group that is pushing for more Federal funding for relief and rebuilding projects that will help women, Women of the Storm.
Jacqueline Keeler
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