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IWPR publishes its research in formats ranging from short fact sheets to longer form research reports. The Institute publishes on topics addressing the policy needs of women, including pay equity, retirement security, family leave, paid sick days, and employment.

For a full overview of our research areas and to view publications by topic, please visit our Initiatives area. All publications are available for free download on our website or you may choose to buy them through the Google Checkout icon to the right of the publication listing.  To request a publication by phone or e-mail, please contact Mallory Mpare at 202-785-5100 or

Browse our publications below or use our Publication Finder to search for what you're looking for.

Latest Reports from IWPR

Women’s Access to Health Insurance
by (June 1994)

Women have a unique relationship to the health care system in the United States that needs to be taken into account in health care reform. Compared with men, women use more health care services and pay more for them as a proportion of their income. They are also responsible for facilitating their families' use of health care and for ensuring the health of infants and children.

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Micro-Enterprise and Women: The Viability of Self-Employment as a Strategy for Alleviating Poverty
by Enrique Soto, Lily Zandniapour and Jill Braunstein (June 1994)

Supporters of micro-enterprise argue that self-employment is a strategy that can improve the economic well-being of low-income families and promote economic development in poverty stricken urban areas. IWPR's study "Micro-Enterprise and Women" investigates self-employment and micro-enterprise as strategies to enhance the income package of women receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) as well as other low-income women.

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Women of Color and Access to Women's Health Care
by Young-Hee Yoon, Stephanie Aaronson, Heidi Hartmann, Lois Shaw, and Roberta Spalter-Roth (June 1994)

#A116, Briefing paper, 8 pages
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Micro-enterprise and women: The Viability of Self-Employment as a Strategy for Alleviating Poverty
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Enrique Soto, and Lily Zandniapour (May 1994)

In this study, IWPR assesses the factors that result in successful use of micro-enterprise as part of the income-package of AFDC recipients and other low-income women.

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Women's Access to Health Insurance (Testimony)
by Heidi Hartmann, Young-Hee Yoon, Stephanie Aaronson, Lois Shaw, Roberta Spalter-Roth (April 1994)

Testimony before the Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate, on the IWPR report Women's Access to Health Insurance. Using data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey, the testimony presents factors that affect women's access and lack of access to health insurance and focuses on the characteristics of women who are uninsured.

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Income Insecurity: The Failure of Unemployment Insurance to Reach Out to Working AFDC Mothers
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Heidi Hartmann, and Beverly Burr (March 1994)

Unemployment Insurance (UI) was designed as a program to benefit full-time, full-year workers, usually with male bodies, facing periods of temporary layoff. In many states receipt of benefits requires relatively high prior earnings and involuntary reasons for job loss (with interruptions due to childbirth or family responsibilities usually disqualified as "voluntary quits"). Because female heads of households tend to have less continuity of employment than do male heads of families, they are twice as likely to face unemployment without UI benefits. If Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the primary income support program for impoverished single mothers and their children, becomes a time-limited program that promotes employment in the low-wage labor market, can UI serve as an effective substitute for AFDC, providing income security during periods of unemployment and non-employment?

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Women and Welfare Reform: Women's Poverty, Women's Opportunities, and Women's Welfare Conference Proceedings
by Gwendolyn Mink (March 1994)

Transcript of presentations and discussions at a conference sponsored by IWPR, chaired by the late Congresswoman Patsy Mink, and co-chaired by Congresswomen Lynn Woolsey and Maxine Waters and Congressman Ed Pastor. Held in Washington, DC, in October 1993. Topics include welfare myths and women's lives, welfare reform proposals, women's employment opportunities, and alternatives to welfare. Pwerful and timeless analysis by feminist scholars such as Mimi Abramovitz, Richard Cloward, Lynne Burbridge, Martha Davis, and Linda Gordon. Available by mail in limited quantities. E-mail iwpr [at] iwpr [dot] org to place an order.

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A Feminist Approach to Policy Making for Women and Families
by Heidi Hartmann and Roberta Spalter-Roth (March 1994)

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What Do Unions Do for Women?
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Heidi Hartmann, and Nancy Collins (March 1994)

At a time when union membership has been declining overall, a new report by IWPR, "What Do Unions Do For Women?" shows that the number of women who are unions members has continued to increase. As a result, women are currently 37 percent of organized labor membership-- a higher percentage than at any time in the US labor movement's history. Thus the face of unionism in the US is changing, even though much of the research on unions continues to focus on men. IWPR research shows that union membership for women because membership or coverage under a collective bargaining agreement is associated with higher wages and job tenure, as well as a smaller pay gap between women and men.

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Making Work Pay: The Real Employment Opportunities of Single Mothers Participating in the AFDC Program
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, PH.D (February 1994)

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AFDC Recipients as Caregivers and Workers: A Feminist Approach to Income Security Policy for Women
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Ph.D, and Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D (January 1994)

This article examines whether current proposals that "reward work over welfare" by continuing the shift in AFDC from a program that subsidizes the private, familial caregiving activities of impoverished mothers to a program that subsidizes their low-wage employment will aid AFDC recipients in bringing their families out of poverty. The research presented here, based on the US Bureau of the Census' Survey of Income and Program Participation, shows that the kind of intermittent jobs that AFDC recipients are likely to obtain do not provide the earnings necessary to keep their families out of poverty, without additional income support. The research further suggests that because the Earned Income Tax Credit, the major program to supplement wages, most benefits full-time, full-year workers and does not take into account women's caregiving activities and their family-related work absences, most recipients will not be better off as a result of welfare reform proposals. Alternative income support programs, such as expanded Unemployment Insurance and Temporary Disability Insurance, that provide for all the sources of earning losses common to single mothers will be needed to bring families out of poverty, if AFDC benefits become time-limited. Additional strategies such as reforming the low-wage labor market, including its race and gender bias, and augmenting AFDC are also suggested. These policies, taken together, can benefit AFDC recipients (and other low-wage working mothers) as both workers and as caregivers.

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Women, Work, and Households in Ciudad Juarez
by Gay Young, Ph.D, and Beatriz E. Vera, M.A. (January 1994)

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What Do Unions Do for Women?
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Heidi Hartmann, and Nancy Collins (January 1994)


The Health Benefits and Potential Savings from Screening and Intervention for Domestic Violence
by Stephanie Aaronson and Nicoletta Karam (January 1994)

#B216, Research in Brief, 4 pages
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The Impact of the Glass Ceiling and Structural Change on Minorities and Women
by Lois Shaw, Dell Champlin, Heidi Hartmann, and Roberta Spalter-Roth (December 1993)

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Dependence on Men, the Market, or the State: The Rhetoric and Reality of Welfare Reform
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Ph.D, and Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D (November 1993)

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The Real Employment Opportunities of Women Participating in AFDC: What the Market Can Prove
by Heidi Hartmann and Roberta Spalter-Roth (October 1993)

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Supporting Work: The Relation Between Employment Opportunities and Financial and Other Support Programs
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Beverly Burr (August 1993)

Testimony before the Working Group on Welfare Reform, Family Support and Independence. Describes employment patterns of single mothers with a history of AFDC receipt. Argues that to implement a time-limited welfare reform plan, eligibility and benefit levels for the Earned Income Tax Credit and Unemployment Insurance must be expanded.

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Self Employment Versus Wage and Salary Jobs: How Do Women Fare?
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Ph.D, Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D, and Lois Shaw, Ph.D (July 1993)


New IWPR Study Examines the Benefits of Alternative Employment Patterns for Male and Female Workers
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Ph.D, Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D, and Lois Shaw (June 1993)

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