Research on US Poverty

In the last few decades, women’s empowerment has been the catch phrase for myriad governmental and NGO initiatives on the local, national and global scale. Many other goals may be met by increasing women's empowerment; such as child mortality and eradicating illiteracy. Education and gainful employment are two facets of women's empowerment which are progress indicators in developing countries. GVAN concentrates on gainful employment, with the aim of economic and social empowerment of women in the developing world by connecting these women with women in the United States who are of limited means. Through the partnership, women in both developing countries and the United States will build a sustainable model for financial sustainability and economic growth; both elements will build the momentum to increase women's empowerment.

Information on Women in Poverty in the US
The income gender gap is present in retirement. "The largest segment of Americans living in poverty is elderly women. In their lifetime, women make a third less then men. Women are unable to contribute as much "to Social Security, pensions and 01 (k) accounts". Women's retirements must last longer than mens due to their life expectancy being an average of 19 years longer than mens.

How the US measures poverty:

The United States determines the official poverty rate using poverty thresholds that are issued each year by the Census Bureau. The thresholds represent the annual amount of cash income minimally required to support families of various sizes.

The methodology for calculating the thresholds was established in the mid-1960s and has not changed in the intervening years. The thresholds are updated annually to account for inflation.[1]

A family is counted as poor if its pretax money income is below its poverty threshold. Money income does not include noncash benefits such as public housing, Medicaid, employer-provided health insurance and food stamps[2].

A sampling of the poverty thresholds for 2007 is included in the table below. A complete list can be found on the Census Bureau's website (
2007 Poverty Thresholds, Selected Family Types

Other questions to be answered by this document are:

How many people were poor in 2007?
How has poverty changed over time?
How does poverty differ across subgroups?
How many children live in poverty?
How does the poverty rate vary under alternative definitions?

Global Poverty Facts:
Women and Poverty
Health Resources and Services Administration
FAQs and graphs
Women's Funding Network
Investing in Women: Worldwide Return

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