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Celebrate the Moms in Your Life - And Fight For Policies That Honor Them
Tim Judson on May 6, 2011 - 2:05pm
Looking for a last minute Mothers' Day e-card? Progressive States Network is partnering with our friends at MomsRising to bring you a fun way to thank the moms in your life. It's a customizable video that will announce them by name as the star of an upcoming movie, "World's Greatest Mom."
As we pay tribute to moms everywhere on Mother's Day this weekend, we should also take time to recognize some alarming truths. More moms than ever now have to balance parenting with work outside the home, and more families than ever are dependent on moms as their primary source of income.
We owe it to moms everywhere to do better by advancing policies that truly honor them - and that work starts at the state level.
Here's a quick review of concrete state policies that people who love and honor moms should work as hard as they can to enact this year - so that Mother's Day 2012 will be the best one yet.
- Paid Sick Days: No one should be forced to choose between caring for their child's health (or their own) and keeping a roof over their family's heads - yet millions of moms face this choice all the time. Without paid sick days, 1/6 of Americans report losing their job because they had to take a sick day, and parents without paid sick days are nearly twice as likely to send their kids to school sick. For working moms who must try to support their families on 27-44% lower wages due to gender discrimination, losing a day's pay to get the health care they need can be no choice at all.
- Paid Family Leave: Working moms need the flexibility to care for their children without sacrificing the careers they need and deserve to provide for their families. Paid Family Leave programs, like those in California and New Jersey, provide partial income replacement to enable moms (and dads) to take the time off they need to bond with their newborns. And job-protections allow them to return to their careers without sacrificing their status and career opportunities. As a nation, the U.S. is one of only four countries that doesn't provide this basic support to working moms, and it's about time we changed that.
- Healthcare Reform: Ensuring equal access to affordable, quality health care for moms and their children - and that they are not overcharged because of their gender and family needs - is a baseline for supporting moms. PSN is working to ensure states implement strong health insurance exchanges that will enable moms and families to access the care they need and protect them from discrimination and skyrocketing premiums. And don't get us started on defunding Planned Parenthood - we are helping reframe budget debates in the states to protect revenues for essential health and reproductive care services.
- Fair Pay: Ten states and the federal government still do not have laws prohibiting discrimination in wage and salary rates, and nineteen other states have laws that do not even specify penalties for employers who do discriminate. As a result, women continue to be paid less than men for the same work. On average, women are paid 23 cents less on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. Mothers are paid less than non-mothers, and women of color suffer the greatest wage discrimination of all.
- Affordable, Quality Childcare and Pre-K: Moms need affordable daycare and pre-K options they can afford so they can provide for their kids and ensure they start school with the same opportunities as their peers. Especially for single moms, affordable, quality daycare is often the difference between being able to work and having to live below the poverty line.