The poverty rate for adult women has been substantially higher than for adult men in every year since the official poverty measurement began. The federal “Temporary Assistance for Needy Families” program (TANF) is the principal safety net for poor families, and 90% of its adult benefit recipients are women. But the program is inadequate, flawed, and unfair and, in most instances, utterly fails to offer recipients a path out of poverty and into the workforce.

Programs & Initiatives

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Reform
    Legal Momentum focuses on improving the TANF public benefit program, as current benefits are insufficient, work requirements fail to account for childcare needs, and barriers prevent even those who are eligible from receiving benefits. We work to reduce barriers, increase oversight, and strengthen the program’s contribution to the end-goal of reducing poverty. We have built a national coalition in support of reform and produced acclaimed briefing papers on TANF-related policy issues.
  • Women and Poverty in America
    Women in America are still 35% percent more likely than men to be poor in America, with single mothers at highest risk. Legal Momentum has brought a gender lens to the work of national anti-poverty groups, with the goal of keeping women and children, who compose the overwhelming majority of poor Americans, at the center of policy and social safety net progress targeting the alleviation of poverty.
  • Single Parents
    Legal Momentum issues studies and reports to document the economic status of single parents and to recommend policies to improve ecnomic security for single parents and their children.

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