This week, House Democrats released the When Women Succeed, America Succeeds: An Economic Agenda for Women and Families. The overall goal of this economic agenda is to address the realities, disparities and opportunities for working women and families through effective policy and legislation.
Women often are forced to take on many roles and responsibilities while at work and in their personal lives. Because of work demands and an unstable economy, working mothers are left often in a bind that forces them to choose between maintaining gainful employment or their family’s well-being. The three target areas addressed in the economic agenda are work and family balance, child care and pay equity.
- The work and family balance platform calls for policies that allow working women to better balance the demands of work and family by expanding paid sick, family and medical leave.
- The child care platform supports policies to ensure working parents have access to high-quality and affordable health care. Some solutions include expanding the Child Care Tax Credit, as well as supporting President Obama’s Early Head Start and child care initiatives.
- The pay equity platform ensures that women get equal pay for equal work and raises wages for working women and families. Some solutions include paycheck fairness and protecting and restoring employment rights.
In their CNN Op-Ed, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said:
Too many women face financial pressures simply because of outdated policies and a “Mad Men” view of the world that constrain opportunities for women’s full participation in our economy. Our country’s policies simply do not reflect the way families live today, with both parents in the workforce and more single-parent households than ever. A second income is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity.
Still in 2013, women only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. For women of color, the numbers are more staggering at 55 to 64 cents for every dollar earned by men. With these facts, it is easy to see why this agenda is an economic imperative to working women and families across the nation—especially since women are the only or primary breadwinners in 40% of households with children younger than 18.
The time is now to call on members of Congress and let them know that we are no longer interested in short-term, Band-Aid policies that fall short of solving the issue. We need a long-term agenda that creates permanent solutions that help hardworking women and families, rather than hurt them. This economic agenda is on the right path to do just that.