Whether it was passing up on beers with his team to clean up Baby Yoda vomit, struggling to find “child care” for Baby Yoda before embarking on especially dangerous bounty hunts, or—well—the entire show’s plotline hinging on the Mandalorian’s natural desire to take care of “the child” and protect it, our hero unapologetically shows how badass it is to be a caregiver.
The Biden–Harris administration’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan taken together would lay the foundation for building comprehensive child care and early learning, creating greater access to home- and community-based services with a well paid workforce, and paid family and medical leave for everyone that would bolster women’s workforce participation, support healthy child development and learning, ensure people with disabilities can live independently, support aging with dignity, and ensure a flourishing economic future for everyone.
Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation.
This week: the potential transformational impact of Melinda French Gates’s Pivotal Ventures and other women investors; why being a parent in the U.S. is harder than in other rich countries; how to increase women’s political power in advance of next year’s midterms; the youngest woman (!!!) to qualify for the Olympics in the triathlon; and more.
In the “Moms Deserve More Flower Store,” bouquets range from $800 billion for the Unpaid Work Bouquet to $3,500 for the Mental Stress Bouquet—representing the real value of mothers’ work. The price tags highlight the ways in which our current national policies and COVID-19 relief efforts are failing to support our mothers.
If we do not build out our care infrastructure and open up physical infrastructure jobs to women, we will exclude half of our work force from the opportunities that will shape our economic future, potentially exacerbating and permanently extending the “she-cession” of 2020.
Over the last year, our country has lost almost 550,000 people to COVID-19. America lost countless citizens to racism and experienced one of the largest spikes in hate crimes.
We changed the way we loved, shopped, worked and lived. But the expectations for mothers did not change.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, women have lost three decades of hard-fought gains in a single year. But injustices and inequities that existed long before COVID-19 have been exposed—and conversations around how we can support women are finally started. This is a moment like none before, and we need permanent, structural change to reach full equity.
There are approximately 6 million pregnancies in the U.S. each year, and more than a million of those end in loss. A million. Every year.
Despite this unfortunate prevalence, there is no support infrastructure in place for people going through pregnancy loss. I realized this when I went through it myself.
Decades of underinvestment has exposed the fragility of the market-based child care industry—and the pandemic may have dealt the final blow. To solve our country’s child care crisis, we need an expansive approach that fundamentally shifts the narrative about child care from a privilege for few to a public good for all.
What this pandemic has shown us is that our nation treats its mothers as its social safety net, and it has set us back decades in our fight for equality.