As we celebrate Mother’s Day and honor our own mothers, we should be ashamed that the United States treats working mothers worse than almost every other nation on earth. Politicians, mostly sons, elected by votes from mostly sons, are responsible for these bad policies and the laws that often penalize their own mothers. Flowers and brunch are thoughtful, but perhaps it is time to honor our working mothers with better laws and policies.
Here are some examples of our shameful anti-mother policies.
First of all, our working mothers on average earn only 77 percent as much as our working fathers on average. Women are often paid less than men for the same job. They are often overlooked when it comes to higher paying jobs such as CEO and manager. They are discriminated against in entire industries like information technology.
They often work in jobs where the employer limits their hours to fewer than 30 a week to avoid paying them benefits. As a result, working mothers must work more than one job. This keeps them away from their families.
Secondly, until passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), just being a mother was a pre-existing condition. Insurance companies were allowed to drop them from coverage just because they were expecting mothers. Since all mothers are women, they used to automatically pay more for insurance coverage. Thanks to Obamacare, women have access to affordable or free diagnostic screenings.
The bad news for mothers is that Republicans in Congress, mostly sons but daughters too, have taken a blood oath to repeal every word of Obamacare. They have no plans to even plan for a replacement. So, mothers may go back to second class status once the threat of a veto stops Republicans from repealing Obamacare root and branch.
The United States is the only developed nation on earth that does not provide paid leave for a new mother. The only nations that do not, besides the good ‘ole USA, are island nations in the Pacific. Only a handful of states provide maternity leave or leave to care for their sick child.
The lack of paid leave often creates an economic hardship on working women. Republican politicians, mostly sons, miss no opportunity to restrict their access to affordable contraception to plan their families. They are relentless in their attempts to make decisions for women about their own bodies. They believe that politicians or bosses, not women, should make those decisions.
If all of this is not enough, policies enacted mostly by sons put child care out of the financial reach of most working mothers. Thanks to “welfare reform”, we require mothers to work, but make it virtually impossible for them to support their families while working due to low wages, discrimination, and the high cost of child care. Soon, if GOP sons get their way, women will lose access to health care as well.
I wish all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day, including my mother who is now in heaven. My bigger wish is that sons, and some daughters, will stop electing politicians who inflict such hardship and misery on their own as well as other people’s mothers. Actions speak louder than words.
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