Imagine this: a basic income for all mothers.
That might not be such a far-fetched fantasy with a new administration that has promised forward-looking policies, combined with the pressure-cooker effects the pandemic has had on women juggling jobs and childcare for months on end.
Fifty women — celebrities and activists including Eva Longoria, Gabrielle Union, Charlize Theron, Tarana Burke and Amy Schumer — signed their names onto a full-page ad in the New York Times calling on President Joe Biden to implement a “Marshall Plan for Moms.”
They are calling for a task force to be created for mothers to be paid for labor that everyone takes for granted and pass policies that provide parental leave, affordable childcare and pay equity.
The effort was organized by Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code.
“This pandemic has absolutely decimated the careers of working moms across the country,” said Saujani in a statement. “This is not an isolated incident — it is a national crisis, and we can start to address it within the first 100 days of this Administration.”
Biden has included provisions for childcare subsidies and paid leave in his emergency economic relief package, but proponents say they need to be passed into law permanently.
In a staggering loss for the economy, employers cut 140,000 jobs in December 2020 — all of them positions held by women, according to CNN.
In the letter, the women write that Biden “didn’t create this problem, but your administration has an opportunity to fix it” — pressuring him to deliver on his progressive promises.
“It’s time to put a dollar figure on our labor,” they continue. “Motherhood isn’t a favor and it’s not a luxury. It’s a job.”