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Women in a Bind: Hunter College Professor to Discuss Declining Opportunities

(Posted November 18, 2013)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Although there has been an increase in visibility of highly successful women such as Hillary Clinton, Marissa Mayer and Oprah Winfrey, there has been an overall decline in opportunities for women. Mimi Abramovitz, professor of social policy at Hunter College," will address this issue at Juniata College in the lecture "Women in a Bind: The Decline of Marriage, Markets and the State" at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 20, in the ballroom of Ellis Hall on the Juniata campus.

The lecture, which is part of the college's Beyond Tolerance series, is free and open to the public and there will be question-and-answer session after the talk. The lecture is sponsored Juniata's Office of Diversity and Inclusion and co-sponsored by Juniata's Department of Social Work.

"All three institutions -- marriage, the marketplace and the state -- have let women down. Let's find out what happened and what needs to be changed."
Mimi Abramovitz, Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.

Perhaps starting with Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign for the presidency, women's rights has remained a top-shelf issue through the 2012 elections and today. Yet in total, women from all economic strata are having difficulty making ends meet.

Abramovitz will explain and discuss that the two traditional sources of income for women -- marriage (for those who choose to marry) and the marketplace (employment) -- have become less reliable in recent years.

Typically in the past, women faced with economic hardship or social discrimination could turn to government programs to provide aid.

However, in the current political atmosphere of government gridlock and financial austerity, the state has lacked the resources to help women.
"All three institutions -- marriage, the marketplace and the state -- have let women down," says Abramovitz, the Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York. "Let's find out what happened and what needs to be changed."

Abramovitz is the author of "Regulating the Lives of Women: Social Welfare Policy from Colonial Times to the Present" and "Under Attack, Fighting Back: Women and Welfare in the United States. She received the 2004 Feminists Scholarship Award from the Council on Social Work Education and the 2004 Distinguished Recent Contributions in Social Work Education Award, also from the Council on Social Work Education.

Abramovitz earned a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1963 from the University of Michigan. She went on to earn a master's degree in 1967 and a doctorate in 1981, both from Columbia University.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.