Why Privatizing Government Services Would Hurt Women Workers

Bernhardt, A., and L. Dresser. Why Privatizing Government Services Would Hurt Women Workers. COWS, 2001, p. 23.

Prepared for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

This report analyzes the implications of privatization for women workers, especially those employed in low-end occupations. Data analyzed show that women disproportionately depend on the public sector for jobs that pay decent wages and offer benefits. This is especially true for African American and Hispanic women, and for women who do not have a college education. In part, higher wages and better access to health and pension benefits in the public sector can be attributed to higher rates of union coverage. The evidence suggests that privatizing government services will have a negative impact on women workers, especially those workers who are most vulnerable.