America’s Lack of Paid Leave Is Devastating Women and Families

Thirty years ago, a group of determined women ushered the groundbreaking Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) into law after a long fight. While passage of the FMLA was a monumental achievement for its time, coverage and eligibility restrictions mean that over 40 percent of the workforce are excluded from its protections. Advocates hoped the FMLA would lay the foundation for a universal paid family and medical leave program.

Women can’t wait another 30 years. The time for paid leave is now.

As the U.S. Looks to Revamp the Farm Bill, Women Must Be at the Table

While the U.S. has created an omnibus Farm Bill for nearly a century, our mothers—especially when Native or women of color—have never had a say in where our government’s farm support money goes. Not until recently.

Now the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry is under the leadership of U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). Her hearings will mark arguments on the horizon we’d all be wise to notice. A whole new generation of younger, female, Indigenous, Black, Latinx and queer farmers are contending with land prices out of reach, and old attitudes that minimize the healthier, more sustainable production they seek.

Front and Center: With a Guaranteed Income, ‘I Don’t Have to Worry or Stress Anymore,’ Says Mississippi Mom

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.

“Before the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, I was living check to check. I was working part time because we had no babysitter, and my work check was usually only $300 to $400 a month. I’m a single parent so I had to manage $400 a month for me and my two kids. It’s very hard being a single mother with no help. … I had times where I’d miss days of work because of no babysitter. But now I can go to work every day. I’ve got a full schedule of work now. It’s helped a lot.”

‘It Helped Ease My Burden’: Seven Moms on What a Year of Guaranteed Income Meant to Them

It’s time to celebrate another year of the Front and Center series—a Ms. and Springboard to Opportunities’ Magnolia Mother’s Trust (MMT) collaboration that provides a national platform for low-income Black women in Jackson, Miss., to share their experiences receiving a guaranteed income.

As guaranteed income continues to enter mainstream political conversations and media coverage, it’s important to center the voices of those most affected—like the MMT recipients highlighted here.

December 2022 Reads for the Rest of Us

Each month, we provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups.

I want to do my part in the disruption of the “norm” in the book world for far too long—white, cis, heterosexual, male—and to amplify indie publishers and amazing works by writers who are women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, APIA/AAPI, international, queer, trans, nonbinary, disabled, fat, immigrant, Muslim, neurodivergent, sex-positive or of other historically marginalized identities. You know … the rest of us.

The Senate Must Prioritize Pregnant Workers and Moms Like Me During the Lame-Duck Session

In 2019, I was working as a cashier for a large grocery store chain in Louisiana when I became pregnant with my second child. When the store’s management found out about my restrictions, they pushed me out of my job.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would close a legal loophole in the landmark Pregnancy Discrimination Act by ensuring that all employers provide pregnant and postpartum workers with modest accommodations on the job. The bill has passed in the House twice but it still hasn’t gotten a vote in the Senate, even though it has enough Republican and Democratic votes to pass. It is urgently needed and wildly popular. A recent poll showed 90 percent of Americans support the bill.

October 2022 Reads for the Rest of Us

Each month, I provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups—to do my part in the disruption of what has been the acceptable “norm” in the book world for far too long (white, cis, heterosexual, male); and to amplify indie publishers and amazing works by writers who are women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, APIA/AAPI, international, queer, trans, nonbinary, disabled, fat, immigrant, Muslim, neurodivergent, sex-positive or of other historically marginalized identities—you know, the rest of us.

Make some time to read one or two of these 30 new books, or whatever goes well with your pumpkin spice latte or hot apple cider.