The impact of terrorist attacks on women: A report of findings from a national survey of American women

Ability to afford health care is a top financial concern

NEW YORK, December 6, 2001 A new national survey conducted exclusively of women, reveals that, while women continue to pay attention to and feel the impact of September 11, they are strong, knowledgeable and pragmatic. A majority of women indicated they are not changing their lives, but their concerns about economic vulnerability are greater than those related to their personal safety.

Clearly women are listening and responding to the tragedies of September 11, and it is important that their voices be heard, said Faye Wattleton, president of the Center for Gender Equality. It is especially critical that the public and policy makers take womens issues and concerns into account as we debate the nations economic conditions and its preparedness for defense against bio-terrorist attacks.

-Strength and Knowledge of American Women- Eighty-seven percent of women say that they are still following terrorist-related news very or somewhat closely, and are conscious of the security and personal financial impact of September 11. The vast majority, despite the terrorist and subsequent anthrax attacks, are forging ahead with their daily lives, with only 37 percent reporting that their lives have changed. For example, only 15 percent of women cancelled travel plans and only two percent report stocking up on gas masks or an antibiotic such as Cipro.

Family and friends continue to play a significant role in womens lives; when dealing with health problems, a majority of women choose to talk to friends and family (30 percent) rather than seeking out a doctor (17 percent) or talking to a counselor or mental health professional (eight percent).

-Women and Economic Security-

Forty-six percent of women are very or somewhat worried that their economic situations will worsen, compared to 39 percent who worry that they or a family member will be a victim of terrorism.


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