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.

Employers, Take Note—Young Women Are Planning Their Lives Around State Abortion Laws

Among employees ages 18 to 34, 47 percent of women and 44 percent of men believe they won’t have the career they’d planned, hoped for and dreamed of because politicians are now in control of their personal reproductive decisions.

“We’re looking to future generations of business leaders and managers and employees and we have nearly half of them saying, ‘I don’t think I will have the career I planned because of the decision by the Supreme Court,’” said Heather Foust-Cummings, Catalyst’s senior vice president for research

Are Women’s Rights the Canary in the Coal Mine of a Democracy in Decline?

Today, half of the world’s democratic governments are on the decline. Advocates questioned the correlation between regression on women’s rights and degraded democracies. A New York Times article asserted that such a descent is precisely when “curbs on women’s rights tend to accelerate.” However, that proposition should be considered in reverse.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Roe decision and continue to grapple with the new status quo, this much is clear: The tenets of reproductive health, rights and justice—and those of a healthy democracy—are not only inextricably interconnected, but essential to our nation’s promise.

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.”

The PUMP Act Is Here. Now, We Normalize

Last week, President Biden signed off on a $1.7 trillion spending package that has everybody buzzing about the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Less discussion has surrounded another piece of legislation included in the omnibus, the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act—a long-awaited victory for all breastfeeding, chest-feeding and exclusively pumping parents working outside of the home.

Why is there so much resistance to women pumping in the workplace?

‘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.