Mothers deserve our help

While the Great Recession impacted everyone, women, especially mothers, were particularly hard hit.

The crisis struck the male-dominated manufacturing sector first. The analysis shows that in these families, mothers and wives took on the role of primary breadwinner, thus increasing their responsibilities.

It is not new that women and mothers face discrimination in the workplace. In some cases, employers prefer to hire someone without children, an obstacle that fathers do not encounter. And, as they take on more, women continue to suffer from longstanding salary inequities.

In addition, the economic crisis made the situation of single mothers and low-income households even worse. Federal and state governments slashed programs including those that provide childcare, kindergarten and health care to children.

California is facing cuts of an additional $500 million from these types, while the House of Representatives approved a budget several days ago that, in order to protect the defense budget, cuts billions from social services. It is estimated, as just one example, that 200,000 children will lose their school lunch.

These programs are critical, especially for low-income working mothers

Such is the case for close to 70% of the low-income Latino families with at least one child under 18 at home. For these women, the progress and benefits enjoyed by professional women -better education, more opportunities, high-paying jobs- simply haven’t arrived.

With their increasing responsibilities, women’s presence in the workforce is evermore critical for our society. At the same time, they continue to hold the primary responsibilities at home of forming tomorrow’s students, workers, mothers and fathers.

This is hard work and they need our help instead of making their lives more difficult with the elimination of services and employment discrimination.

Today is their day in the United States. The best way to celebrate is to support their efforts in all spheres. In the long run, everyone benefits!

Budget cuts hurt women just as their roles are expanding