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Abstract

The Conservative program strikes deeply at the institutions that support the economic independence and security of women. This paper reviews social welfare budget cuts, the relaxation of affirmative action and workplace health and safety rules, and the social issues agenda of the New Right for their impact on women's economic, social and political status. It describes how the Reagan Administration's economic recovery program victimizes women, especially minority women. Not only is the "feminization" of poverty intensified, but women are sent from the paid labor market back to unpaid labor in the home, aided and abetted by the social issues agenda of the New Right. The Administration's domestic program is analyzed in the context of its broader strategy for coping with the current economic crisis. It is viewed as part of a long range plan to redirect capital into the private sector by redistributing income upwards and weakening the political power of women, minorities and organized labor whose empowerment and demands for an improved standard of living have become too costly for business and government.

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