Amid concerns over the declining job market, the collapse of the housing market, the subprime mortgage crisis and the looming recession, the House of Representatives passed a $146 billion economic stimulus package last week. However, women’s groups like the National Women’s Law Center have urged Congressional leaders to look closely at the disproportionate effect the current economic situation has on women.
According to Department of Labor statistics, men are slightly more likely to receive unemployment benefits than women. The regulations governing unemployment eligibility were written when the labor market was dominated by men. Fewer women qualify for unemployment, making extending the criteria for such aid an important avenue for stimulating the economy.
“So many are feeling the pinch of this economic slowdown, but because of their particular vulnerabilities, women are being hit especially hard,” said Nancy Duff Campbell, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center in a press release.
The bill will move to the Senate this week, where Senate Democrats are expected to try to add aid for senior citizens, disabled veterans and home heating bill assistance, as well as other changes with amendments including an extension of unemployment benefits and additional food stamp funding, according to Women’s eNews.