Excellent Question. And here are the top 10 reasons YOU should support The Mother PAC today. Like now.
1. Poverty. Motherhood is now a leading predictor of poverty in old age. Single motherhood is a leading predictor of poverty at any age. In 2011, 33% of all single working mothers in Oregon lived below the poverty line.
2. The U.S. Lags (Way) Behind. There are only a few countries in the world with no paid family leave, including Papua New Guinea, Lesotho, Swaziland, and the United States. About 40% of working Americans don’t even qualify for the unpaid leave required by the 1993 Family & Medical Leave Act, and a mere 12% have access to paid family leave through their employers (and they are disproportionately well paid, highly educated, and male).
3. Lingering Wage Gap. The wage gap between men and women is narrowing, but the wage gap between women with children and women without children is growing. In Oregon, women earn just $0.79 to a man’s dollar; women of color fare far worse: African-American women earn just $0.68 and Latina women and even lower (and shocking) $.055.
4. Paid Sick Time. Almost half of all private-sector workers (and an incredible 80% of low-wage workers) have ZERO paid sick time through their jobs – to care for themselves or a family member. Not one. And it hurts all of us.
5. Equality. All families deserve to be treated equally. And right now, they aren’t. We fully support marriage equality in Oregon and all the protections that make us equal – at work, at home, and everywhere else.
6. Expensive Childcare. The average cost of full-time, infant childcare in Oregon is 60% more than tuition at the University of Oregon. Most parents don’t think they’ll be paying more than college tuition for the care they need to keep their jobs.
7. Support for work & family care. We like to think that mothers have a choice to work or to stay home. For too many of us that simply isn’t true. We want or need to work but have no flexibility and can’t afford the childcare. Or we want to be home but can’t afford to because that “work” (and it is work) isn’t valued in our economy.
8. Breastfeeding. Incredibly, women are still being asked to leave some places of business when they breastfeed (it’s just food people!) and many quit because continuing while working is simply too big a barrier.
9. Retirement Security. On average, women earn over half a million dollars less than men in their lifetimes, and — due to longer life expectancies — that amount gets stretched over an extra 5-10 years in retirement. A loss of earnings on par with men and a longer life expectancy mean too many women retire into poverty. In Oregon, over 40% of retired women are living at below 200% of the poverty level.
10. More moms in office! There are 25 women in the Oregon State Legislature…out of 90 legislators. Only four have children under 13. We have ONE woman – and six men – representing us in Washington, DC. In Oregon’s history we have had only ONE woman governor.
Inspired? Then donate now – it’s easy to do online or you can always mail a check to:
The Mother PAC, PO Box 15146, Portland, OR 97293
THANK YOU. Together we’re helping to elect candidates who get it, because there still far too many who don’t.