Women and Economic Empowerment

New England Journal of Public Policy Special Issue


Despite Abigail Adams's admonition to her husband in 1776 to "remember the ladies" when forming public policy for the newly launched American republic, government administrations at both the federal and the state level have done little to enhance the economic power of women in the United States. Nor has the passage of over two centuries substantially improved this bleak record.

Several years ago, a group of Boston-area businesswomen began meeting informally to discuss the economic advancement of women. The group expanded to include attorneys, public officials, and college presidents and adopted the name Women's Economic Forum (WEF). Over the years, WEF addressed and debated a wide range of public policy issues affecting women's economic status and took an active role in numerous battles for women's financial empowerment. The galvanizing philosophy behind the group was, simply stated, that "women must become full economic partners in our society." Many of the essays in this volume are the result of those years of thinking, discussion, and activism. The book's topics reflect the group's priorities and its contributors have all been associated with or share the goals of WEF.

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