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A Journal of Crime, Conflict & World Order

Women and Welfare Reform

Out of print; PDF version available for $15.00.

Vol. 21, No. 1 (1994)

What will be the impact of welfare reform for women and children living in poverty? How did Clinton administration framing the problem of "welfare dependency," and what influence did this have on proposals before Congress? The issue also asks whether reform would address the roots of poverty -- structural unemployment, gender inequities within the labor market and the family, and unaffordable childcare -- or simply punish the victims of these enduring social realities? Why are AFDC recipients, often women of color, stigmatized as sources of fiscal drain, while military, high-tech, and agribusiness interests continue to receive massive federal subsidies? Why are the claims of widowers and the elderly considered a fundamental part of the social contract, while those of women on welfare are regarded as expendable? This volume provides the historical and political insight necessary for addressing these pressing questions in all of their complexity. Included are papers, discussions, and commentaries from a "Women and Welfare Reform" conference, sponsored by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, and co-chaired by members of Congress who offer progressive alternatives to punitive changes in the welfare system. The authors debunk myths about welfare, examine hidden assumptions about gender relations built into reform proposals, and fashion humane solutions to the welfare crisis. Included among the contributors are some of the keenest critics of the Clinton administration's approach to resolving the welfare crisis in America. The presentation by Clinton's Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services is included, along with select speeches by the president and members of Congress.

ISSN: 1043-1578. Published quarterly by Social Justice, P.O. Box 40601, San Francisco, CA 94140.

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Gwendolyn Mink (ed.)



Preface to 'Women and Welfare Reform'

Gwendolyn Mink

Welcome from the Women and Welfare Reform Conference Organizers

Congresswoman Patsy Mink

Remarks on the National Welfare Rights Union

Marian Kramer

How We Got 'Welfare': A History of the Mistakes of the Past

Linda Gordon

Challenging the Myths of Welfare Reform from a Woman's Perspective

Mimi Abramovitz

Poor and Pregnant in the United States: 1950s, 1970s, 1990s

Rickie Solinger

Welfare Reform and the Assault on Daily Life: Targeting Single Mothers and Their Children

Valerie Polakow

Reforming Welfare or Reforming the Labor Market: Lessons from the Massachusetts Employment Training Experience

Terese Amott

The Workfare Hoax

Richard Cloward

When Reality Meets Policy

Dorothy Trujillo

Improving Access to Higher Education for AFDC Recipients

Erika Kates

Welfare Reform and the Clinton Administration

David Ellwood

The Real Employment Opportunities of Women Participating in AFDC: What the Market Can Provide

Roberta Spalter-Roth

Women's Reality: Making Welfare Work and Making Work Pay

Ruth Brandwein

Child Support Enforcement and Assurance: One Part of an Anti-Poverty Strategy for Women

Paula Roberts

After the Family Wage: What Do Women Want in Social Welfare?

Nancy Fraser

Introduction: Living on Welfare -- A Personal View

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey

Filling the Half-Full Glass: Designing a Welfare System That Works for Women

Diana Pearce

The Fifth Estate: How and Why the Poverty Industry Distorts Welfare Issues and Displaces the Interests of People on Welfare

Teresa Funiciello

Welfare in a World of Income Instability

Lynn Burbridge

Women on the Move: Civilian Responses to the War on Poor Women

Martha Davis


Heidi Hartmann and Congresswoman Patsy Mink

Welfare Reform in Historical Perspective

Gwendolyn Mink

Subsidy Reform

Congressional Record

Welfare Reform: The Gender Issue

Congressional Record

Remarks by the President on Welfare Reform to Officials of Missouri and Participants of the Future Now Program

President Bill Clinton

Women and Welfare: Suggest Readings

Sandra Meucci