Sunday, July 19, 2009

Policy Issue: Social Welfare

Welfare reform should be considered a feminist issue because welfare is usually limited to women because of criteria that discriminate against women in receiving welfare. I think that the 1996 welfare reform definitely had its good points. I think it was important to establish guidelines that ensured that people weren’t just taking money because they wanted it, however, I think that punishing the children because their parents did not meet certain requirements, is awful. It’s not as if the children failed to meet the requirements, so they should not be punished. If anything, the 1996 welfare reform should have established a way to allot the money to the children without the parents being able to touch it, much like we see in a lot of practices today (not necessarily in welfare, but in other things, like inheritance..etc).

In anti-poverty policy, the appropriate role of family-formation is the two-parent family formation. I do not believe that this helps poor women’s economic status. If anything, it damages it. Most poor women that have children with a man cannot count on that man to stick around. If these two people were forced to marry, the man might grow resentful and abuse his wife both verbally and physically and he might use his earnings in the job market for his own gain instead of for his wife or kids. I do, however, think paternity establishment is important. If women can obtain child support from their children’s fathers, than it may definitely help. If child support is stopped being paid, however, the women need the support of welfare. I do not, however, think that the description of a woman’s ‘sexual encounters’ or activity should be elaborated to a government official. I think it should end at who is the father of the children, not every partner that the mother has been with.

The relationship between privacy rights and poverty is that women that are embarrassed to reveal the intimate details of their private life often do not receive welfare, and are therefore impoverished because they do not meet that specific requirement in earning welfare.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely agree with you that the 1996 welfare reform should have established a way to get money to the less advantaged children without the parents being able to touch it. Some (definitely not all, but some)of these parents who don't make a lot of money are into drugs. These people use most of the money that they do make to feed their drug addiction. By insuring that the children really are receiving food, clothing, and other essentials, it can be insured that it is not going toward drugs and other things for the parent. I also agree with you on the point that women's sexual encounters should stop at finding out the father of the child. This would probably encourage more single mothers to seek help if they knew they wouldn't have to disclose their entire sex life.