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This Petition Wants Moms to Get Paid Monthly for Their Invisible Labor

“It's time to put a dollar figure on our labor. Motherhood isn't a favor and it's not a luxury. It's a job.”
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
Jan 2021
cleberities amy schumer, gabrielle union and ana oritz fight for moms and their invisible labor
Image: Shutterstock

Earlier this week, fifty women, included celebrity moms such as Eva Longoria, Amy Schumer, Julianne Moore, Charlize Theron, Gabrielle Union and more signed a letter led by Reshma Saujani, the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. The letter asks the new Biden Administration to create a task force dedicated to implementing a “Marshall Plan for Moms.”

In the letter, published as an ad in The New York Times, the women ask for a basic income for moms, as well as policies around parental leave, affordable childcare and pay equity to support working women. It’s modelled after the Marshall Plan of 1948, which offered economic support to Europe following World War II.

“Dear President Biden, You know this well: moms are the bedrock of society. And we’re tired of working for free. We need a Marshall Plan for Moms—now. Like the original Marshall Plan of 1948, this plan would be a financial investment in rebuilding from the ground up,” the letter opens. “COVID has decimated so many of our careers. Two million of us have left the workforce, at a rate of four times that of men in September alone. Millions more have been forced to cut back our hours or work around the clock to keep our jobs and be full-time caregivers. This is not an isolated incident—it is a national crisis. You didn’t create this problem, but your administration has an opportunity to fix it.”

Over 2 million women have left the U.S. workforce since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a report from the National Women’s Law Center found. According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from December 2020, women have left the workforce as four times the rate of men.

The letter asks the Biden’s Administration, within its first 100 days, to:

Establish a task force to create a Marshall Plan for Moms. Implement a short-term monthly payment to moms depending on needs and resources. Pass long overdue policies like paid family leave, affordable childcare and pay equity.

“Sound crazy? It’s not,” the letter continues. “It’s time to put a dollar figure on our labor. Motherhood isn’t a favor and it’s not a luxury. It’s a job. The first 100 days are an opportunity to define our values. So let’s start by valuing moms.”

“In December, all the jobs lost in the U.S. economy were lost by women,” Saujani said in a news release. “And the situation is particularly bad for Black women, 154,000 of whom left the workforce entirely. We need to put in place a plan for moms, and we need it now.”

“There’s a collective sense of exhaustion for women,” Saujani also told Fast Company in an interview. “We’re in a national crisis for mothers. This crisis has exposed the undue burden we place on mothers. The labor participation of mothers is what it was in the 1980s. Think about how much we’ve lost in the last year.”

To learn more about the letter, the initiative and the women who signed (and to sign it yourself), visit MarshallPlanforMoms.com.

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Psychologist
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