Washington Area Women's Foundation

Dear WaPo: There are more challenging things than "squeaking by on $300,000."

The good news is that the Washington Post yesterday discovered the plight of women-headed families struggling in the recession and this economy.

The bad news is the Post focused on a woman-headed family that was, in the words of the headline, “squeaking by on $300,000” and in New York, no less.

The nicest thing I can say about the article is that it represents a serious failure in news judgment and demonstrates a poor sense of reality about the many woman-headed families, including in our region, working to get by on one-tenth of that or less.

Meanwhile, median income for women-headed families in the U.S. was $33,370 in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Meanwhile, more than 65,000 women-headed families with incomes of less than $40,000 live in our region, according to data collected by the Urban Institute for The Women’s Foundation.

I challenge Post editors and writers to “squeak by” on that, and I challenge the Post to pay attention to that.

I would be happy to help connect Post writers and editors with these women and their families, to whom our Grantee Partners are providing job training, financial literacy/wealth creation and early care and education services through our Stepping Stones initiative.

Washington Post, if you’re listening: Please call me.

Gwen Rubinstein is a Program Officer at The Women’s Foundation.