Petition to the Leadership of the Congress of the United States:
Strengthen Women’s Health, Income & Retirement Security Now
Whereas; The demographic reality facing most older American women simply can’t be ignored. Women live longer than men, on average, yet their lifetime earnings are generally lower.
Whereas; The gender wage gap continues, meaning women earn only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. This wage gap increases for older women, with those over age 65 only making 60 percent of the income earned by a man. Lower wages mean less is contributed to Social Security for their retirement leaving many older women to have to live longer on less.
Whereas; Women spend as much as 50 percent more time away from employment on caregiving duties, like raising children and caring for older relatives, when compared to men. Taking extended breaks from the workforce, combined with lower wages, leaves many women with smaller contributions to Social Security and fewer benefits when they retire.
Whereas; The poverty rate for older women is much higher than it is for older men. In 2013, 12 percent of women, 65 and older, lived in poverty compared to 7 percent of older men. Among seniors ages 80 and older, 23 percent of women lived in poverty compared to 14 percent of men. Clearly, the inequity women face in their working years continues to follow them even into retirement.
Whereas; Women are also more likely to suffer from three or more chronic conditions such as arthritis, hypertension and osteoporosis, making Medicare especially vital for older women. Out-of-pocket spending for women Medicare beneficiaries 65 and older is higher than men, increasing as they age. At age 85, total out-of-pocket health care spending for women was estimated to be $7,555 compared to $5,835 for men.
Therefore; I petition my Senators and Representative to pass legislation that would end the retirement and health inequity facing millions of American women and their families.