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.

Corporate Profiteering Is Driving Inflation

The Federal Reserve has responded to inflation with rapid interest rate increases, meant to tamper down prices, at each of its past seven meetings. They are expected to do the same at their Jan. 31 Open Market Committee gathering. However, these hikes can also increase the risk of recession and unemployment.

Too many companies have opted to use inflation as an excuse to boost profit. Caregiving is a key area of potential government investment that could help women. Their needs are often put last, after childcare and elder care. The economy is already fragile after a global pandemic; now is the time to prioritize people.

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.”

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: How the House Speaker Delay Hinders Democracy; Two Women Are Now First and Second in Line for U.S. Presidency

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: as the House begins its fourth day of speaker voting, a reminder that ranked-choice voting could save time and energy; Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) has been elected president pro-tempore, making her third in line to the presidency; the percentage of women in Congress is just 27.9 percent; and more.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Georgia Considers Ranked-Choice Voting, Not Runoffs; Biden Confirms Most Women Judges in History

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: Feminist icon Dorothy Pitman Hughes was a critical voice for issues of race, class and motherhood; Georgia could save voters and taxpayers time, energy and money with ranked-choice voting, rather than runoffs; South Korea’s new president is trying to end the Gender Equality Ministry; remembering feminist icon Dorothy Pitman Hughes; and more.

Rest in Power: Dorothy Pitman Hughes, Icon and Activist

Pioneering feminist Dorothy Pitman Hughes died on Dec. 1, 2022, at the age of 84. Hughes became an icon of the women’s movement when Esquire published an image of her and Gloria Steinem in 1971 standing side by side with fists raised. That image has since been recreated, reinterpreted and reproduced on everything from mugs to T-shirts. A copy even hangs in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

Dorothy Pitman Hughes’ life of activism, however, transcended this image.

Keeping Score: Biden Issues Mass Pardon for Marijuana Possession; 36% of U.S. Counties Are ‘Maternity Care Deserts’

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in in this biweekly round-up.

This week: National children’s health organizations urge Biden to issue a National Emergency Declaration; pregnant cancer patients struggle to start chemotherapy without abortion access; Biden issues mass pardons for federal marijuana possession; Cardi B is first woman rapper to have two 11x platinum singles; 36 percent of U.S. counties are “maternity care deserts”; and more.

Front and Center: ‘We Should Have Daycares and Vouchers so People Can Actually Work,’ Says Mississippi Single 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.

“I know we don’t have the monthly child tax credit anymore because politicians think giving people money will stop them from working. But I think they need to actually listen to our stories. People want to work, but things stop them from being able to. Who is going to watch the kids? I’ve brought my daughter to work before when I couldn’t get childcare. She’d just sit there in the lobby and wait for me. But kids shouldn’t have to do that. We should have daycares and vouchers so that people actually can work.”