Friday, September 05, 2008

The power of unmarried women

I received this email from Women's Voices Women Vote. As a single woman I couldn't believe that I hadn't even thought about myself as a demographic group. Perhaps this study isn't talking about unmarried, professional women with no children, but irregardless (children or no children), the fact of the matter is we (women) make less than men. We are a demographic that has much to be concerned about this election. Though the media discusses suburban families losing homes to the mortgage crisis, they don't talk as much about those of us who don't even have the cushion of that second income in the home.

Dear Friend,

The nomination of Sarah Palin for vice president has focused the news media's attention on how women will vote on Election Day.

But the media are missing the real news that underscores the importance of Women's Voices. Women Vote. In their weekly data for August 25-31 - an
interval that includes John McCain's selection of Palin - the Gallup Poll found a 23 percentage-point "marriage gap" in women's preferences in the presidential election. While married women favored McCain over Barack Obama by 49 to 42 percent, unmarried women supported Obama over McCain by 60 to 30 percent.

These findings underscore the importance of unmarried women as the fastest-growing major demographic group in this country - and the largest under-participating segment of society. For the first time in history, about as
many adult American women are unmarried as are married. Numbering 53 million, these single, separated, divorced and widowed women represent 26 percent of the voting-age population.

These unmarried women have the potential power to elect the next President. But 20 million of these women did not vote in 2004. That is why WVWV uses so many tested messages and trailblazing techniques - direct mail, telephone calls, and public service messages on television, cable, and theInternet - to educate and encourage these women to register, vote, and participate in public debates.

As WVWV's research reveals and reports, these "women on their own" have household incomes of $30,000 a year or less, earn only 56 cents for every dollar that a married man makes, and are less likely than married people to have health coverage. That is why WVWV (together with the Center for American Progress Action Fund) prepared and promotes an Unmarried Women's Agenda , including equal pay, expanded health coverage, and investments in public education, college opportunities, and career training and retraining. By advocating this agenda, WVWV is raising issues that encourage unmarried women to participate in the political process - and advancing policy proposals that will improve these women's lives and livelihoods.

With your help, WVWV is encouraging unmarried women to register, vote and take part in public debates by making political participation fit into their busy and burdened lives. Together, we can help unmarried women make history in this
crucial and eventful year.

Sincerely,

Page Gardner
President
Women's Voices. Women Vote

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