by Stephanie Maloney
Since I get reminded on a daily basis of why a lot of moms are finding it harder to celebrate things sometimes this seemed a bright piece of news. If these bills actually make progress I will pass along the word on what we can do to support their passage. Enjoy the hopeful Senator’s wishes and in the meantime let’s hope that next year we’re a little slimmer and the bank account is a little fatter.
NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says Congress must do more to help working moms and their children so she is sponsoring two bills to address the issues of paid work leave and equal pay for equal work. Here’s how she put it:
In May 1914 Congress created “Mother’s Day” as a celebration but hasn’t done nearly enough with policies to give working mothers the support they need.
“The United States consistently ranks at the bottom among industrialized nations for paid parental leave. Many families spend over 25% of their income on childcare, and that number climbs to over 50% for single parents.
“The obvious pay gap between men and women, which is even worse for women with children, means that working moms are getting shortchanged.” This is important because nearly two-thirds of mothers in the United States are the primary, sole or co-breadwinner.
Her paid leave bill is called the FAMILY Act. The FAMILY Act would guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid leave, with two-thirds of your paycheck.
Her other bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, would help end wage discrimination. Right now, on average, for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes only 80 cents, and if you’re a woman of color, it’s even worse.
Studies have also shown that there is a “motherhood penalty” in our economy, where having children hurts women’s earnings while working fathers get an increase in pay for every child they have.
It’s that simple.