The child tax credit had historic bipartisan support. We can get back to that if we agree that supporting caregivers and children is a top priority for our country.
It is time to change the narrative of women and men in the workforce as having separate, unequal goals. We have come too far to continue adhering to the narrative of the workplace as a gendered zone, where women are not only paid less, but only women and mothers request and are penalized for requesting flexible work accommodations.
As the nationwide formula shortage gained more news coverage, social media outlets like Twitter started buzzing—not with compassion for these scared parents, but rather judgment that these mothers hadn’t breastfed and were therefore at fault for their current predicament.
(Of course, the irony of the formula shortage happening at the same time that the Supreme Court is poised to force American women to carry unwanted pregnancies is also not lost on many.)
For each child they have, mothers get a 5 to 10 percent pay cut on average. Meanwhile fathers get a 6 percent pay bump per child. As the primary caregiver in many households—33 percent of married working moms have identified themselves as their children’s sole care provider—many women have been forced to choose between their kids and their careers.
What will it take for employers to account for the heightened responsibilities of moms in the workplace?
Special interest groups funded by corporations and the ultra-wealthy went all out in attacking Build Back Better. These groups hide behind a woman’s face to conceal anti-feminist policy positions while reproducing social inequalities for families across generations by opposing policies and structures that would advance equality and improve economic mobility.
There are several obstacles moms face when entering politics—a big one being the lack of universal, affordable childcare.
For moms entering a political career at any level, allowing campaign funds to be used for childcare expenses is a critical first step to leveling the playing field for women candidates to run and win. Campaign-funded childcare means that both men and women candidates would no longer need to factor in childcare costs when deciding to run, which would blow open the doors for more and diverse women candidates to get their names on the ballot.
We can’t simultaneously rely on parents to secure our collective future by raising the next generation of citizens and ask them to do it alone. It doesn’t just take a village; it takes infrastructure designed to help families thrive.
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: Michigan governor appeals to state Supreme Court to enshrine abortion rights in constitution; track star Allyson Felix plans to retire; Florida and Oklahoma move to criminalize abortion; Ukrainian refugees face a lack of sexual and reproductive healthcare; U.N. funds Bilan Project to give a voice to female journalists in Somalia; and more.
In 2021, Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan that included $40 billion in childcare relief funding, helping providers to stay afloat, parents to get back to work, and businesses to stabilize. But it’s not enough for the long-term improvements our families and providers need to succeed.
That’s why I’m calling for us to continue the fight to secure universal pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year olds and affordable childcare for all.
It’s been just over a year since the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was passed, through which the federal government invested in people by giving them stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits and an expanded child tax credit that benefited nearly every parent in the country. While there was no shortage of energy from House Democrats and many of their Senate colleagues to pass Build Back Better—ARPA’s successor—the bill stalled in the Senate.
Policies that help women aren’t just the right thing to do—they’re the smart thing to do. Now is not the time to shrink behind austerity politics that prevent our government from meeting the needs of its people, especially those who have always been marginalized.