Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New CAP Column Demands a Feminist Lens in Economics
Press Release

RELEASE: New CAP Column Demands a Feminist Lens in Economics

Washington, D.C. — A new column from the Center for American Progress highlights the urgency of applying a feminist lens to economic theory to evaluate and begin to undo the role that misogyny plays in American institutions and move toward a system that values the experiences and contributions of women.

This morning, CAP hosted an event featuring preeminent thought leaders in feminist economics to discuss the importance of applying this lens to analyses of the labor market as well as the importance of bodily autonomy for all people.

The current conservative economic agenda spearheaded by President Donald Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress has heightened the misogyny that underlies economic policy. Gender and race wage discrimination enforcement is under threat because business interests are considered more important than fairness for women and people of color in the economy.

“Undoing what is known as the economics of misogyny requires more than sound bites on women’s empowerment. It’s time to stop thinking of women’s needs as an afterthought to the ‘real economy’ or ‘real issues’ and focus instead on broadly shared economic gains for all people,” said Kate Bahn, an economist at CAP.

The column evaluates the economics of misogyny by highlighting the urgency of modernizing the U.S. workforce due to the shortcomings of various policies that fail to fully encapsulate women’s needs: Unemployment insurance is disproportionately inaccessible to women, since it is only available to full-time workers; both a lack of access to comprehensive paid leave and affordable, high-quality child care remain persistent problems; and women’s health care needs continue to be siloed as a “special interest.” Policies such as the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal Medicaid dollars for abortion, and a decades long failure to value reproductive health care access as general health care continue this trend and undermine women’s ability to plan for their careers, furthering this inequality.

Click here to read “The Economics of Misogyny” by Kate Bahn.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Devon Kearns at 202.741.6290 or dkearns@americanprogress.org.