What is a Women's Issue? Bankruptcy, Commercial Law, and Other Gender-Neutral Topics

39 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2002


A number of political issues have become publicly identified as women's issues, actively promoted by women's groups and supported by politicians eager to portray themselves as supporters of women. By contrast, some issues are gender-neutral, such as economic or business issues that are of no special concern to any gender-based constituency. The 2002 bankruptcy bill, advanced by the consumer credit industry as its highest legislative priority, features a number of provisions that would fall especially hard on households headed by women and on women with children. Far more women will be affected by changes in the bankruptcy bill than almost any other legislation pending in Washington in the past several years, yet the bill has not become a rallying point for those committed to equal justice and fairness for women. Why? This essay explores how some issues become "women's issues," while bankruptcy remains low on the agenda of most politically active women's groups.

Keywords: Bankruptcy, Commercial Law, Women's Issues

Suggested Citation

Warren, Elizabeth, What is a Women's Issue? Bankruptcy, Commercial Law, and Other Gender-Neutral Topics. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=310544 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.310544

Elizabeth Warren (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-3101 (Phone)
617-496-6118 (Fax)

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