What Women Want 2012: A YWCA USA National Survey of Priorities and Concerns

The YWCA USAreleased the resultsof a new survey: “What Women Want 2012: A YWCA USA National Survey of Priorities and Concerns.” Lake Research Partners and pollster Celinda Lake,with the polling company, inc./WomanTrend and pollster Kellyanne Conway, conducted the survey of nearly 1,500 adult women nationwide in late August/early September. Among the most revealing poll results are:

CONSENSUS: Even in this divisive era, women agree on what their priorities are (80% agree on 80% of same concerns). And, whether they favor President Obama or Governor Romney in the current presidential race, women share very similar concerns.

TOP CONCERNS: Women express the most intense worry around a cluster of issues: most concerning is the fear of a disappearing middle class (70% very or somewhat worried), followed by retirement and health care concerns, Specifically, many were very or somewhat worried about:

o Social Security and if it will be there when they retire (67% concerned).

o An unaffordable medical expense for themselves or family (67% concerned).

o Health insurance that is affordable and secure for their family (67% concerned).

HARDSHIPS: The economic downturn continues to loom over women. Its consequences are large in their concerns:

o 41% of women have been the primary breadwinner in the last four years.

o Women report hardships ranging from postponing medical care (33%) have experienced in the last two years) to losing a job (24%) or falling behind in rent or mortgage payments (21%). Most importantly, even women who have not personally experienced these difficulties express concern about these issues.

RACE IMPACTS WORRIES & HARDSHIPS: Women of different races experience the world somewhat differently:

o African American (56% have experienced), Latina (44%), and Asian/Pacific Islander women (52%) are more likely to have experienced racial or ethnic discrimination.

o Asian/Pacific Islander (43% have experienced) and Native American women (42%) experience more gender-based prejudice.

o African American women tend to worry about the economy, and are more likely to have experienced hour, wage, or tip reductions (34% have experienced this in the last two years).

o Latinas worry more about health care (54% very worried), possibly because they are the most likely to have not gotten or postponed medical care due to a lack of money (43% have experienced).

o Latinas are more likely to experience hardships overall. Hispanic women’s top hardships are not getting medical care and having their wages, hours, or tips reduced (42% have experienced).

o Asian/Pacific Islander women worry most about the economic gap (41% very worried) and disappearing middle class (36% very worried) and making ends meet (39% very worried). They are the most likely to have experienced wage reductions (38% have experienced this in the past two years).

o Like Latinas, Native American women are concerned about health care, and also have not gotten or postponed health care because of finances. Native Americans were most likely to not have gotten medical care (36%), followed by having their hours, wages, or tips reduced (32%).

SOLUTIONS: Whom Do Women Expect to Address the Economic Crisis?

PRIVATE-PUBLIC SOLUTIONS: Women want partnership between the private sector – especially small business – and government at all levels to help solve economic problems in the U.S.

o When asked which of these entities (state and local government, Congress, the president, small business, major corporations or Wall Street) has the greatest ability to spur growth in the economy, more women volunteered “all of the above” as a response than women who choose any one option (30 percent chose all of the above).

o A third of women polled see a role for government, but they are divided on which level is best equipped to tackle the problem. About one in 10 believe that state and local governments (12 percent), Congress (11 percent), or the president (nine percent) can have the greatest impact.

o Women are not necessarily looking to the private sector on its own to solve the issue of a lackluster economy. About one in five (22 percent) see a primary role for small businesses, far more than those who believe major corporations (six percent) or Wall Street (two percent) have the greatest ability to spur economic growth.

In general, women expect our elected officials and economic institutions to be able to address the myriad of concerns and priorities faced by women.

“The objective of commissioning the survey is to help us target and identify solutions for women of all walks of life who deal every day with key issues, like employment, health care and social justice,” said Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron, the new CEO of the YWCA USA. “We have to motivate and encourage a discussion on all these issues to influence public policy, and bring to the attention of national and state leaders issues that are vitally important to women and their families.”

“The survey provides us with a better understanding of the priorities of women in our country today,” said Gloria Lau, Interim CEO of the YWCA USA. “We all know how important women’s voices are in the upcoming election, so we want to hear directly from them on their priorities and concerns.”

Methodology Lake Research Partners and the polling company, inc./WomanTrend designed and administered this survey, which was conducted by phone using professional interviewers. The survey reached a total of 1,430 adult women nationwide, with over samples of 100 African American women, 100 Latinas, 100 Asian/Pacific Islander women, and 100 Native American women. The base sample consisted of 1,000 interviews, which included interviews via 200 cell phones. The survey was conducted between August 27 and September 4, 2012. Click here to read the Executive Summary of the survey results.

Data in the base sample were weighted slightly by race, age, educational attainment, party identification, and region to reflect the attributes of the actual population. Data in the African American oversample were weighted slightly by age; the Latina oversample by age, region, and educational attainment; the Asian/Pacific Islander oversample by age, region, and educational attainment; and the Native American oversample by age and region. The margin of error for the overall survey is +/- 2.6%.

The YWCA USA would also like to thank the 2012 Survey sponsors Susan Packard Orr, Telosa Software and the United Nations Foundation, Girl Up!

PRIVATE-PUBLIC SOLUTIONS: Women want partnership between the private sector – especially small business – and government at all levels to help solve economic problems in the U.S.

o When asked which of these entities (state and local government, Congress, the president, small business, major corporations or Wall Street) has the greatest ability to spur growth in the economy, more women volunteered “all of the above” as a response than women who choose any one option (30 percent chose all of the above).

o A third of women polled see a role for government, but they are divided on which level is best equipped to tackle the problem. About one in 10 believe that state and local governments (12 percent), Congress (11 percent), or the president (nine percent) can have the greatest impact.

o Women are not necessarily looking to the private sector on its own to solve the issue of a lackluster economy. About one in five (22 percent) see a primary role for small businesses, far more than those who believe major corporations (six percent) or Wall Street (two percent) have the greatest ability to spur economic growth.

The YWCA is the voice for every woman. For over a century, the YWCA has spoken out and taken action on behalf of women and girls. The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Over 2 million people participate each year in YWCA programs of more than 1,300 locations across the U.S. Worldwide, the YWCA serves more than 25 million women and girls in 125 countries.  http//www.ywca.org.

“The survey provides us with a better understanding of the priorities of women in our country today,” said Gloria Lau, Interim CEO of the YWCA USA. “We all know how important women’s voices are in the upcoming election, so we want to hear directly from them on their priorities and concerns.”

Methodology Lake Research Partners and the polling company, inc./WomanTrend designed and administered this survey, which was conducted by phone using professional interviewers. The survey reached a total of 1,430 adult women nationwide, with oversamples of 100 African American women, 100 Latinas, 100 Asian/Pacific Islander women, and 100 Native American women. The base sample consisted of 1,000 interviews, which included interviews via 200 cell phones. The survey was conducted between August 27 and September 4, 2012. Click here to read the Executive Summary of the survey results.

Data in the base sample were weighted slightly by race, age, educational attainment, party identification, and region to reflect the attributes of the actual population. Data in the African American oversample were weighted slightly by age; the Latina oversample by age, region, and educational attainment; the Asian/Pacific Islander oversample by age, region, and educational attainment; and the Native American oversample by age and region. The margin of error for the overall survey is +/- 2.6%.

The YWCA USA would also like to thank the 2012 Survey sponsors Susan Packard Orr, Telosa Software and the United Nations Foundation, Girl Up!

PRIVATE-PUBLIC SOLUTIONS: Women want partnership between the private sector – especially small business – and government at all levels to help solve economic problems in the U.S.

o When asked which of these entities (state and local government, Congress, the president, small business, major corporations or Wall Street) has the greatest ability to spur growth in the economy, more women volunteered “all of the above” as a response than women who choose any one option (30 percent chose all of the above).

o A third of women polled see a role for government, but they are divided on which level is best equipped to tackle the problem. About one in 10 believe that state and local governments (12 percent), Congress (11 percent), or the president (nine percent) can have the greatest impact.

o Women are not necessarily looking to the private sector on its own to solve the issue of a lackluster economy. About one in five (22 percent) see a primary role for small businesses, far more than those who believe major corporations (six percent) or Wall Street (two percent) have the greatest ability to spur economic growth.

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