The Effects of Economic Recession on Women

Economic recession is defined to be a period of time (two consecutive quarters) where there is dismal or negative growth in an economy of a specific region or country. Economic recession has different effects on each sector of a nation. A particular sector could experience an impact that could distinctive only in his or her sector.

Women comprises half of the world’s population. During recessions, there is a relative downturn on women’s employment that ever before. Before the United States’ recession in 2001, women were not greatly affected by the economic recession. However, after the 2001 recession in the United States, omen started losing a lot of jobs.

Women also experience low employment rates. Families rely on women’s employment to boost the family income during a recession. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics:

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1. When women lose jobs, families lose a substantial share of the income. Women salaries are said to be one third of the whole family budget.

2. Over the past 30 years, families who have a working wife have seen real increases in family income.

3. During the 2001 recession, women were hit harder by unemployment than men.

4. After the recession of 2001, women were able to get back to their jobs but where unable to gain or experience any increase in their employment rates.

5. Women are said to be harder hit by the 2008 recession since women are disproportionately represented in state and local government services.

Women are also greatly affected by job losses during economic recession. Women are said to be the last person to be hired, but the last person to be fired. Unlike women, men shows stable numbers since United States had experienced the economic recession

Between March 2001 and August 2004, women lost jobs in a number of key industries. Women lost 347,000 jobs in information alone. In retail industries, women lost 367,000 jobs. The biggest lost will be in the manufacturing industry which cost women over a million jobs. These numbers are just in the United States alone.

Unemployment rate among adult women workers rise faster compared to men workers. From 3.8 percent in March 2007 it went up to 4.6 percent in March 2008. There is also a significant effect on the wage of women compared to men. Women’s wages are more unstable than men’s wages.

Women have the tendency or risk of seeing large drops in income than men do. It has been culturally imbedded (based on gender analysis of events) that women’s income just fill in the disparity of men’s wage in terms of providing for the family. Thus women’s wage not being a major source of funds is more at risk of deduction.

In developing countries, women are facing poverty brought about by economic recession blowing out of proportions. With lack of work opportunities and immense poverty, women are forced to enter into prostitution and white slavery.

When economic recession hit in Asia in mid- 1997, women was the hardest hit by the crisis. Many women who have entered these industries come from rural areas because they could no longer sustain themselves and their families. Because of the recession, a lot of employees were released from their work. Women, carrying the burden of providing for their families were provided no other options.

Southeast Asian countries were deeply affected by the financial crisis and were left with social scars. Whenever economic recession or crisis similar to this happens, women and children bear the scars.


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