Posted on December 3, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) As Congress finalizes the details of the Build Back Better agenda, the National Women’s Law Center is launching a national campaign to bridge the gap between the way poverty is discussed in the media and the reality endured by millions of women and families.

Show Me The Receipts documents the financial lives of ten people from Nevada and Michigan at or near the poverty line fighting to support their families and themselves amid an unprecedented pandemic, a destabilized economy, and an uncertain future. Each of these households documented their monthly expenses to detail the many difficult choices they are forced into by policy failures and hostile forces of the modern economy. 

“Our policies too often respond to the mythology of poverty instead of the reality of poverty—a gap the Build Back Better Act can help us close,” said Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “Show Me The Receipts is our effort to amplify the resilience and courage of parents on the front lines of a crisis generations in the making. The hardship experienced by these working families will be familiar to millions of women and families waiting for a government that finally works for them.”

Through video interviews, spending diaries, and documentation, Show Me The Receipts guides users and readers through the lives of 10 people and the unfair and unjust sacrifices our economy forces upon them. Millions of women and families will recognize the careful balancing act they must perform between utility bills and food expenses, school supplies and child care, or life emergencies and hospital bills. 

According to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center:

  • Women gained 57.3% of jobs added to the economy in October 2021, or 304,000, while men gained 227,000 jobs. Despite these gains, it would take nearly eight months of growth at October’s level to gain back the over 4.2 million jobs the economy has
  • lost since February 2020
  • Since February 2020, the economy has experienced a net loss of over 4.2 million jobs; women account for 57.3% of those losses.
  • Nearly 1 in 14 Black women ages 20 and over (7.0%) were unemployed in October 2021, down from 7.3% in September 2021. About 1 in 12 Black men ages 20 and over (8.3%) were unemployed in October 2021, up from 8.0% in September 2021
  • Nearly 1 in 17 Latinas ages 20 and over (5.7%) were unemployed in October 2021, up from 5.6% in September 2021.
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