THE BLOG

Opportunities for Women in the President's Budget?

02/19/2015 06:52 pm ET | Updated Apr 21, 2015

As an organization with a 50-year history of ensuring that the gender and economic security lenses are included in policy and budget discussions, Wider Opportunities for Women, had one question in reviewing the President's proposed budget, "Are there opportunities for women?"

Budgets reflect our priorities and vision for the country. We applaud the President for prioritizing economic opportunity for women and their families by focusing on a fair and family-friendly nation. We know investments in higher-paying jobs, education, training, and infrastructure create opportunities for women and their families. The President also shared our vision for economic security across a life-span which includes investing in retirement security for older Americans and breaking down economic barriers for those that suffer from abuse.

Our advocacy and policy priorities are uniquely informed by our work across the country to provide capacity building and technical assistance to our partners; as well as our innovative research to support these efforts. Our staff from each area of our work share a more in-depth analysis of where there are opportunities for women in the FY 16 budget below.

President Obama's recently released FY2016 budget continues to advance what he calls "Middle Class Economics." The proposed budget recognizes the impact of some programs on elder economic security. Our Elder Economic Security Initiative gives an overview of proposals in the areas of retirement savings, the Older Americans Act, Social Security and Medicare.

The President's proposed budget includes funding increases that would help address some significant barriers to survivors' safety. Furthermore, in response to growing awareness of sexual assault on college campus, the budget would provide additional funding to prevent violence on campuses across the country. Our Economic Security for Survivors team weighs in on what the budget means for survivors of abuse.

Providing opportunities for women to prepare for and enter nontraditional occupations are real routes to economic security. Our National Center for Women and Employment Equity analysis of the President's 2016 budget concludes that it offers great promise in this area. We caution, however, that the President's proposals must address the gendered barriers and experiences women face in the workforce in order for these proposals to be successful.

The President's 2016 budget contains several economic security-promoting items intended to boost investment and growth that should appeal to both sides of the aisle. Its tax credit proposals could be the least controversial and most practical, investing in family economic security says our research and policy team.