Women on the Edge Foundation focuses on the encouragement and support of women, especially single mothers and seniors who find themselves in a precarious situation, based on the inequality that remains inherent to our society. Rather than judgment and blame, we need to understand why it is that so many women fall into lower social classes and recognize their lack of ability to significantly improve their situation. Awareness of the unique issues that women face is the start of compassion and the first step toward realizing our responsibility to improve the lives of women.
Endless statistics exist regarding the challenges women face but when they find themselves as single mothers, what they really need is help but blame seems to be the widespread attitude. Contrary to popular opinion, most single mothers are employed and were in a committed relationship, married or not, when they had their children. Most do not qualify for public assistance because their incomes are “too high” meaning their incomes are over the poverty line – for a family of two in 2012, an annual income of $15,130. Imagine living on even double this these days! These women and their children, our future, live completely on the edge with nowhere to turn, often finding themselves barely able to afford the basic expenses – rent, utilities, car expenses, day care and food. Each additional expense – every gas price increase, every tax hike, every milk increase; every hour spent at a medical appointment, every school meeting, every missed child support payment – means that one of the family’s basic expenses is compromised. Generally, it is food quality that must be sacrificed.
When women find themselves on a fixed income as seniors, single or widowed, they suffer similar consequences. Their statistically lower income levels over their lifetimes, many having lead lives of wives and mothers without outside income, means women receive much lower social security incomes than their male counterparts. The death of a spouse allows widows to receive a portion of their spouse’s social security income and, although many women are able to survive on their income, more cannot. No matter what their income, a senior’s fixed income does not allow for expense increases, tax hikes and medical bills. So each additional expense means, again, that one of the woman’s basic expenses is compromised. As in the case of single mothers, food quality is generally sacrificed and, more alarming, essential medical treatment and prescriptions are sacrificed.
Women on the edge live in a constant state of stress while they attempt to balance their priorities according to available funds. Needless to say, this type of stress has extreme consequences which affect a woman’s quality of life, her short-term and long-term health, and her family’s ability to thrive. The intention of Women on the Edge Foundation is to support, educate and empower women and, in the meantime, find moments to offer them peace through the inspiration and guidance of our network!
Please join Women on the Edge Foundation in giving women on the edge a hand to grasp.
Not a hand out…a hand up!