In the latest mothers-deserve-more news, 50 prominent women banded together to encourage President Joe Biden to implement a “Marshall Plan for Moms” in his first 100 days in office. The letter, with its 50 signatures, ran as a full-page ad in the print edition of The New York Times.
The letter requests a $2,400 monthly stipend for moms throughout the US, based on need, to make up for the decimation of many moms' careers—two million women left the workforce in 2020—and the “invisible” unpaid labor of caregiving brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. They also want a task force to tackle moms’ issues and the passing of “long overdue policies like paid family leave, affordable childcare and pay equity.” The letter rightfully refers to mothers as the “bedrock of society.”
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The plea was organized by Girls Who Code Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani and included signatures from Alyssa Milano, Julianne Moore, Amy Schumer, Eva Longoria, Eve Rodsky, Alexis McGill Johnson, Tarana Burke, Mindy Johnson, Charlize Theron, Gabrielle Union and more. The ad directs readers to visit MarshallPlansforMoms.com to learn more and to sign the letter.
"Sound crazy? It's not," the letter reads. "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."
Valuing moms ultimately helps the entire economy—and President Biden isn’t one to shy away from supporting moms through this crisis. The 46th president has a $775 billion plan for affordable childcare and universal preschool, while VP Kamala Harris has advocated for six months of paid leave for every new parent as well as extending schools to 6 p.m. to help parents with childcare costs.
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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last spring, Shannon, a 28-year-old single mom, says her life was thrown into chaos. Shannon is a psychiatric nurse who, prior to the pandemic, worked the night shift. She slept during the day while her second-grader went to school, and lived with a roommate who was around if her son woke up at night. When the first cases of the virus surfaced in her home state of Wisconsin, Shannon was immediately transferred to her hospital’s COVID-19 wing, which terrified her. No one knew then how deadly the virus might be for children. She dreaded bringing it home and making her son sick.
The moms who signed the letter want to see these changes happen—and fast. There are only 94 days left within the 100-day period, and Biden’s Administration has yet to publicly respond to the letter.
A Marshall Plan for Moms, like the Marshall Plan of 1948, would be a powerful step towards rebuilding the nation from the ground up. Moms are the backbone of this country, and without financial help, we’re going to see the effects of the pandemic last for decades.