Why Is the Senate Failing To Build Back Better? Blame Sexism

Build Back Better is not just about what’s right. It’s about what’s necessary to keep our country from falling apart at the seams. If we don’t mitigate climate change now, climate disasters will become more frequent, and more deadly and destructive. If we don’t build a strong childcare system, parents won’t be able to go to work, and we will lose skills and experience, as well as huge chunks of the labor force.

Without BBB, we’re losing not just a move toward equity, health and well-being—but also the chance at lasting prosperity.

Don’t Fence Me In: Reproductive Freedom and Women Workers

For centuries under common law, a daughter or a wife was the property of the family father or husband or, upon his death, the closest relative with a penis. Whatever was theirs was his, but most importantly the family patriarch oversaw her most valuable asset: her womb. In earliest medical thought, a womb was fertile ground in need of guarding and fences to make property rights clearer, and she to be plowed and planted with seed, quite literally semen.

We thought such laws and cultural metaphors were behind us. But now the cowboys of Texas have put a bounty on women’s wombs. The stakes are women’s civil rights as citizens, surely, but also financial ones.

Keeping Score: NYC’s First Women-Majority Council Takes Office; Only 55% of Non-Parents Want Kids Someday; D.C. Students Get Free Period Products

This week: Nebraskans face one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation; New York City’s first women-majority city council takes office; Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers sentenced to life in prison; D.C. Council approved free menstrual products in all schools; the gender gap in higher education widens; and more.

Let Me Tell You About My Feminist Economic Agenda

It’s 2022, and we’re finally talking about how to solve the problems that have been plaguing U.S. workers for ages—women of color in particular.

Three policies from 2021 stand out in particular for their outsized positive impact in solving for gender and racial inequities: the child tax credit; Biden’s forgiving of $12 billion in student loan debt; and guaranteed income pilots.

The U.S. Is in Urgent Need of Childcare Solutions. Build Back Better Would Be a Game-Changer

The U.S. has not prioritized childcare. Even before the pandemic, many families could not find childcare when and where they needed it. More than half of all families lived in childcare deserts, and those who didn’t faced exorbitant prices. That’s gotten even worse during the COVID-19 pandemic. For those who can afford childcare, extremely high prices take a toll—many families pay more than mortgage payments or rent for care. It’s unacceptable.

The Build Back Better Act will be a game-changer for parents across the nation, lowering prices and increasing the supply of high-quality care at the same time.

A Workplace Void of Violence and Harassment: Creating Safer Working Environments with ILO’s Convention 190

The International Labour Organization’s Convention 190—a legally binding instrument adopted in 2019—has a bold message: Gender-based discrimination will no longer be tolerated in the “world of work.”

This legislation attempts to address gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work at the international level. Convention 190 is unique from past attempts as it provides a singular concept of violence and harassment and requires a inclusive, integrated and gender-responsive approach to prevent and address these issues.

Dr. Mom: Female Physicians Need Support in Their Roles

It’s clear the medical profession needs women. Patient mortality and hospital readmission rates decrease when women physicians care for them, compared to their male counterparts.

But women in medicine need support, especially as they embark on parenting. Among physician parents, women are more likely to be responsible for household tasks and schooling or childcare compared to men during the pandemic. The women also experienced greater depressive and anxiety symptoms.

Front and Center: Two Years After Receiving Guaranteed Income, This Family Is Still Feeling the Benefits

Front and Center highlights the success of Springboard to Opportunities’ Magnolia Mother’s Trust, which this year will give $1,000 per month for 12 months to 100 families headed by Black women living in federally subsidized housing.

“I was in the very first round of the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, which started three years ago. So it’s been about two years since I stopped getting the guaranteed income payments, but the program allowed me to do so much that’s still benefiting me now. I was able to move out of subsidized housing and into my own place, I was able to get a more reliable car, I did a little traveling with my kids—it allowed me to be able to provide better for them.”