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Sam Roberts was the wage earner in the family, a respected wildlife artist who's signed, limited-edition prints sold briskly at https://payforessay.pro/ art shows from coast to coast. But Kay Roberts was by his side every step of the way. "It took the both of us to promote his work," she said. "We were together all day every day, and it was terrific."

The lifestyle Roberts cherished ended abruptly in the fall of 2005 when Sam - "my sole support" -- suffered a stroke. Life became a blur of medical emergencies - "I followed seven different ambulances" - and ever-mounting expenses. Sam died early in 2006, leaving his then-55-year-old widow in what she describes as "a very bad situation financially".

- The invisible issue Kay Roberts had become what social scientists call a displaced homemaker -- a woman whose principal job https://payforessay.pro/capstone-project/ has been homemaking and who has lost her financial support through death, divorce, separation or disability.

The displaced homemaker tends to be all but invisible in a society awash with ambitious, ever-more-successful career women. She's forgotten when the conversation turns to women's issues, the issues of the day being maternity leave and subsidized child care, not alimony and survivor benefits. Her still-married friends may fade away. And as sympathetic as her daughters may be, they may https://payforessay.pro/custom-term-paper/ not understand the trauma of displacement. Busy establishing careers, postponing marriage and child-bearing, they belong to a generation that does not aspire to full-time homemaking.

"We pay a tremendous amount of attention to working women and the dramatic rise in their representation in the labor force -- now 60 percent of all adult women," said Jill Miller, executive director of the Displaced Homemakers Network. "What we're ignoring is the other 40 percent."

Calling displaced homemakers the dark side of the women's movement, the Washington, D.C.-based network reported in July that their numbers had nearly tripled since 1996, from 4.1 million to 11.5 million. Oregon has nearly 138,700 displaced homemakers, according to the network, which analyzed Census Bureau data to arrive at the current figures.

Displaced homemakers are predominantly older and widowed, but a significant number are in their 30s or 40s, divorced and raising children. Those who work tend to do so part time or seasonally. Those who do not often are convinced after decades at home that their skills wouldn't transfer to the workplace.

Public policymakers express doubt that there could be so many women so economically distressed, but 60 percent are deemed to have insufficient income. Displaced homemakers tend to be too young for social security and, with divorce, may never qualify for it. Without husbands, they also generally are cut off from health insurance and pension-plan protection. Unless they are physically disabled or raising children under 18, they do not qualify for federal welfare assistance.

The bulk of the money for programs for displaced homemakers comes from the Carl Perkins Vocational Education Act of 1994. Hilda Thompson's office distributes nearly $1 million in federal money to 11 programs statewide that serve displaced homemakers and single parents.

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