The global financial crisis will have a lasting impact, without question. But it will have a particularly pronounced impact on women. Women with the same qualifications of their male counterparts and working the same number of hours, earn on average only 77% of what men in the same jobs earn. Women are falling into poverty faster than men today, as the United States Census is bearing out: as of 2010, 4 million more women were living in poverty than men, out of a total of 46.2 million people. That number has risen over the past several years, at a time when governments on every level from municipal to federal are slashing programs as an attempt at austerity.

The Impact
Early in the global financial crisis, many reported that men were losing more jobs than women, at least in countries like the U.S, where the hardest hit industries were construction and manufacturing. However, the Pew Research Center reports that, since 2009, women are losing jobs at a faster rate and are having less success finding new positions, due in part to jobs in sectors like teaching and health services disappearing as budgets are slashed. Even as jobs in some sectors seem to be coming back, austerity measures are hitting women hard.

Missed Opportunities
Even for women who have access to more opportunities, financial situations now seem much more precarious. Kathryn Garrison, an advisor with Moss Adams Wealth Advisors, has seen dramatic differences in how her female clients are handling tough times: "The market volatility of 2011 unnerved quite a few people and women seem to be more intent now on paying down debt and building up savings. That's a good thing on an individual level."

While keeping as much cash available as possible can help alleviate some fears about what's going to happen to a person financially, it's symptomatic of a larger problem that many women are facing right now. The global financial crisis is leading both women and governments to be financially conservative. That means that women may pass up opportunities, from education to investing, for fear of depleting emergency funds. It also means that there's less money available in governmental budgets for programs that work to reduce poverty and its impacts; philanthropic organizations that would normally help bridge some of the gaps in governmental spending are facing financial problems of their own.

The Poverty Line
The whole impact of the financial crisis on women and girls is dramatic. The number of women living below the poverty line has grown for each of the past four years, and the poverty line is considered somewhat arbitrary; for households consisting of one person, it was $10,890 in 2011. It's difficult to live on that amount as an individual, even double that amount can seem tight. The steps necessary to reduce poverty, at least to pre-crisis levels, seem to be entirely counter to the strategies that governments are taking to cut costs. The Center for American Progress specifically recommends building supportive social services that look at the employment needs (as well as the personal needs) of women and girls, an approach that would benefit women living over the poverty line, as well as well below it.

The Bottom Line
The financial crisis has already had a lasting impact on the opportunities available to women and girls. With governments both local and federal still looking for ways to balance their budgets, it's not unreasonable to expect that many women will find their financial situations getting even worse, before they have the chance to get better.

Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    The Top 5 Women-Owned Businesses in Denver

    Take a look at some of the most successful women-led companies in the Denver metro area, and learn why Denver is a great place for female entrepreneurs.
  2. Investing Basics

    4 Iconic Financial Companies That No Longer Exist

    Learn how poor management, frauds, scandals or mergers wiped out some of the most recognizable brands in the finance industry in the United States.
  3. Investing

    The Enormous Long-Term Cost of Holding Cash

    We take a look into how investors are still being impacted by the memory of the tech bubble and the advent of the last financial crisis.
  4. Active Trading

    What Is A Pyramid Scheme?

    The FTC announced it had opened an official investigation of Herbalife, which has been accused of running a pyramid scheme. But what exactly does that mean?
  5. Options & Futures

    Terrorism's Effects on Wall Street

    Terrorist activity tends to have a negative impact on the markets, but just how much? Find out how to take cover.
  6. Economics

    Why is Puerto Rico in So Much Debt?

    Learn about the origins and economic factors that led to the downfall of the Puerto Rican economy and what the U.S. government can do to fix the situation.
  7. Economics

    Some Industries Are More Bubbly Than Others

    Investors who want to avoid future bubbles should learn from the past in order to protect their investments.
  8. Investing

    From Supermodel to Entrepreneur: Gisele Bündchen's Sejaa Pure Skincare

    As one of the highest-paid models in history, Bündchen has turned her name and image into a worldwide brand, and Sejaa is part of her massive empire.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    8 Ways to Protect Mutual Funds From a Financial Crisis

    Discover eight strategies you can use to protect your mutual fund investments from the next financial crisis, including which types of funds to buy and avoid.
  10. Economics

    Could Europe's Migrant Crisis Help its Economy?

    Middle class migrants are uniquely positioned to contribute to economic growth in Europe.
  1. Which mutual funds made money in 2008?

    Out of the 2,800 mutual funds that Morningstar, Inc., the leading provider of independent investment research in North America, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do negative externalities affect financial markets?

    In economics, a negative externality happens when a decision maker does not pay all the costs for his actions. Economists ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between disposable and discretionary income?

    According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, or BEA, disposable income is the amount of money an individual takes home after ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are the major laws (acts) regulating financial institutions that were created ...

    Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, in conjunction with Congress, signed into law several major legislative responses ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the similarities and differences between the savings and loan (S&L) crisis ...

    The savings and loan crisis and the subprime mortgage crisis both began with banks creating new profit centers following ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What measures could the U.S. Government take to prevent another crisis similar to ...

    Some of the measures that the U.S. government can take to prevent another crisis similar to the savings and loan (S&L) ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Cyber Monday

    An expression used in online retailing to describe the Monday following U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. Cyber Monday is generally ...
  2. Bar Chart

    A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as illustrated below, the top of the vertical line indicates ...
  3. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  4. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  5. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  6. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
Trading Center