From a must-read column by Professor Mimi Abramovitz:
Contrary to popular wisdom, spending on services like health care and education produces a bigger bang for the economic-stimulus buck than billions of dollars devoted to roads and bridges. .... For years service jobs have been "reserved" for women. Could this be why mostly male economists have pushed for "shovel ready" jobs held mostly by men as the way to dig us out of the economic quagmire? Could it be that sustaining the male-breadwinner and female-homemaker division of labor trumped economic good sense?
From Professor Susan Feiner learn about W.E.A.V.E and its position on the current stimulus package:
No. 1: Revive and enforce Labor Department regulations requiring affirmative action for all federal contractors.
No. 2: Set aside apprenticeship and training programs in infrastructure projects for women and people of color. Both groups are seriously underrepresented in the construction trades.
No. 3: Spend recovery money on projects in health, child care, education and social services.
Before going into detail on these three targets, let's also look at two over-arching problems with the current plan: Too meager, too male.
Women make up a huge proportion of the workforce, they own homes in ever greater numbers, they have consumer clout - but economically, women are systemically disadvantaged in ways that make put them at greater financial risk then men. Whether it be for reasons of justice or reasons of prudence, our country cannot afford economic measures that do not address this disparity in risk. We must design economic programs that put women forward.
(Cross posted at Heidi Li on Equality at 51 Percent)