posted January 13, 2003

Talk on Women's Issues in the Current Economy

The West Michigan Women's Studies Council will sponsor the address "Wages, Work, and Family: Women's Issues in the Current Economy" by Dr. Heidi Hartmann, who is president and director of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Wealthy Street Theatre in Grand Rapids.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The council is comprised of representatives from several area colleges and universities, including Hope College, and the address will be presented through the council's Nokomis Lecture Series. The Wealthy Street Theatre is located at 1130 Wealthy St., SE.

Hartmann, who holds a doctorate in economics from Yale University, founded the Institute for Women's Policy Research in 1987 to inform and stimulate debate on issues of critical importance to women. She received a MacArthur fellowship award in 1994 in recognition of her pioneering work in the field of women and economics.

The institute focuses on issues of poverty and welfare, employment and earnings, work and family issues, the economic and social aspects of health care and domestic violence, and women's civic and political participation.

Hartmann has co-authored several reports while with the institute, including "The Impact of Social Security Reform on Women"; "Unnecessary Losses: Costs to Americans of the Lack of Family and Medical Leave"; "Women's Access to Health Insurance"; and "Combining Work and Welfare: An Antipoverty Strategy." She has also authored or co-authored numerous journal articles on issues such as welfare reform, pay equity and women's wages.

She has delivered Congressional testimony on a variety of issues, including comparable worth, family and medical leave, child care, welfare reform and health care. She lectures widely on public policy, feminist theory and the political economy of gender.

Hartmann is currently the chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations' Task Force on Women and Social Security. She has participated in numerous panels, forums, debates and media interviews addressing the issue of Social Security reform and the impact various plans will have on women.

She also serves on the Board of the Coalition on Human Needs and the Steering Committee of the National Committee on Pay Equity. She is also the co-chair of the Economists' Policy Group on Women's Issues.

Before founding the institute, Hartmann taught at Rutgers University and the New School for Social Research, and worked at the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She is currently a research professor of women's studies at George Washington University.

The West Michigan Women's Studies Council is a consortium of faculty members and administrators representing women's studies programs and women's centers at Aquinas College, Calvin College, Davenport University, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University and Hope. Hope is represented by Dr. Jane Dickie, who is a professor of psychology and director of women's studies at the college.

The council was formed in late 2001 to increase awareness of gender issues and to share ideas and work together on community projects that enhance the lives of women in West Michigan. Hartmann's address is supported by a grant to the council from the Nokomis Foundation.