More than 10 years ago Henry Aaron wrote a classic paper entitled "Why Is Welfare So Hard to Reform?" (1973). This paper answers that question from the perspective of the new discipline of Women's Studies. The author suggests that the use of feminist theories; notably those of Hartsock and Chodorow; can further one's recognition and understanding of male bias in social policy development. Tracing the history of U.S. welfare policies for women and children the analysis provides explanations for the differential treatment of women in the welfare system and the failure of work strategies to increase poor women's economic independence. Flaws in proposals for welfare reform are discussed and some suggestions for the development of new models of policy analysis are made.

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