Institute for Women's Policy Research
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|Legal status||Non-profit research organization|
|Headquarters||The George Washington University|
- 1 History
- 2 Program Areas
- 3 IWPR Projects and Initiatives
- 4 References
- 5 External links
The Institute was co-founded by current IWPR President Heidi Hartmann in 1986. IWPR has informed policy by putting relevant, high quality facts in the hands of thousands of local leaders and advocates, increasing their ability to shape and implement legislation that benefits women and their families. IWPR has published hundreds of reports, fact sheets, and research-in-briefs that place women as the central point of analysis. The research serves as a reliable resource to policymakers, providing background and context for present and future policy agendas impacting women in the United States and around the world. IWPR’s research addresses issues of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. In addition, IWPR research focuses specifically on policies that help or hurt women in their efforts to achieve social, economic, and political equality.
Employment, Economic Change & Education
IWPR examines the quality of jobs across a diverse range of workers and job types as well as produces research that explores access to employment benefits.
On average, women earn less than men in virtually every single occupation for which there is sufficient data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio. IWPR tracks the gender wage gap over time. Given the existing gender wage gap, educational attainment is especially crucial for women, as women need more education to reach the same average income levels as men.
Democracy and Society
IWPR seeks to identify successful strategies to encourage women’s participation in civic and political life by analyzing data on a wide range of indicators at the local, state and federal levels.
Poverty, Welfare and Income Security
Around the world, research shows that women tend to be in poverty at greater rates than men. IWPR has served as a resource on women’s poverty issues by producing research on income security and suggesting improvements to planning and policies that take into consideration the welfare of women.
Work and Family
For most Americans, work and family go hand in hand. Early care and education programs are crucial to a thriving economy, not only because they allow parents to work, but because the child care sector is large and purchases numerous goods and services. IWPR aims to improve access to child care, measure workplace flexibility and determine whether the defining characteristics of a good job are being implemented in American society.
Health and Safety
Women have specific concerns when it comes to health. More often than not, women make the majority of health care-related decisions regarding health issues for their families, are the primary caregivers, and spend more than their male counterparts on health (KFF 2009; Agency for 2004). IWPR’s research on women’s health and safety informs policy decisions by identifying gender and racial/ethnic disparities in health outcomes and access to health care services in addition to highlighting opportunities for improvement.
IWPR Projects and Initiatives
Status of Women in the States Reports
IWPR has analyzed data on a wide range of indicators at the local, state and federal levels, including demographics, economic security, educational attainment, reproductive rights, political participation, civic engagement, and access to health care and work support in order to publish a collection of comprehensive reports. Each report offers policy recommendations shaped by the research findings for that state, city or area.
Women and Social Security
Women are more likely to rely on Social Security because they have fewer alternative sources of income, often outlive their husbands, and are more likely to be left to rear children when their husbands die or become disabled. Specifically, adult women are 57 percent of all social security beneficiaries aged 65 and older. IWPR produces and disseminates materials to keep women involved on the ongoing Social Security debate and to ensure that women’s concerns are addressed when or if any changes to the system take place.
Student Parent Success Initiative
The Student Parent Success Initiative focuses on supporting students with dependent children who are pursuing college education. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project gives IWPR the opportunity to initiate new research and foster communication and collaboration among advocates, policymakers, and practitioners invested in the success of student parents in postsecondary education.