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.