Women’s and Family Issues
Study after study (not to mention real life) has found that when women are educated and supported, families and society function better. I have seen it with my own eyes countless times, all over the world. It does not matter how progressive or conservative the society – it just functions better, which means children do better, too. To accomplish this, we need:
- Equal pay for equal work. It cannot be – must not be – that in the 21st century, women in Iowa still earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. Equal pay for equal work must be mandated by law.
- Paid family leave. The U.S. lags far behind when it comes to paid family leave. Canada mandates 35 weeks for both parents combined, and Germany manages 12-14 months without their economies grinding to a halt. The U.S. holds the unenviable title of being the only industrialized country that does not offer all of its citizens paid family leave. In 2016, only 14% of civilian workers had access to paid leave. Parents should not fear job loss to take time with a newborn or a newly adopted child.
- Affordable, accessible daycare. It is good – and necessary – for families and for the economy. Parents work. Parents of young children need good quality, affordable, accessible daycare. And not just in the larger metropolitan areas – it is one of the keys to economic development in our smaller towns and cities.
- Access to reproductive health care. This keeps everyone healthy. It should be a no brainer. Access to birth control, to high quality OB/GYN care, to STD testing. Come on, folks.
- Pro-choice. A decision must be between a woman and her healthcare provider, without legislative threat of criminalizing her doctor’s decision or hers.