Women are Worried About Economic Vulnerability

Terrorism takes a back seat to domestic issues in the views of American women.

According to a new survey conducted for the Center for Gender Equality, 46 percent of the women surveyed are very or somewhat worried that their economic situations will worsen.

Almost a quarter of the women polled report that their economic situation has worsened since the attacks and say this was partially or completely a result of the terrorist attacks, rather than economic factors in place before the attacks.

One of the economic realities women are facing is the ability to pay health insurance.

With new mental health concerns and fears about bioterrorism, especially among those under 30, women are even more concerned about their ability to pay for health insurance.

Young women (18 to 29) are less prepared to cope with the mental impact of the attacks and reported consequences such as difficulty sleeping (28 percent), anxiety (25 percent), lack of energy (24 percent) and inability to concentrate (23 percent).

Twenty-two percent are worried about their ability to afford health care coverage and 19 percent fear they could lose their benefits altogether.

Women are not confident that their local government agencies are indeed prepared-48 percent believe that local agencies are devoting adequate resources to promote public safety, but only 17 percent are very confident in the ability of law enforcement agencies to deal with bio-terrorism.

"It is especially critical that the public and policy makers take women's issues and concerns into account as we debate the nation's economic conditions and its preparedness for defense against bio-terrorist attacks," said Faye Wattleton, president of the Center for Gender Equality.

The Center for Gender Equality is an independent, nonpartisan research and public education institution established to advance women's equal participation at every level of society.

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