For the first time in US history women are about to become the majority of the nation's paid workers. The recently released Shriver Report: A Women's Nation Changes Everything is a comprehensive study of this milestone. Today, women are the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in 63.3% of American families.
"The changes in social policies, such as paid family medical leave, universal childcare, caregiving credits for social security, and pay equity, to deal with the reality of today's employed women are long overdue," said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation. "We have been working for these changes for several decades. Hopefully, women becoming the majority of the US workforce is the wakeup call needed to make the changes now."
Though women are about to be the majority of US paid workers, women are still discriminated against in wages, benefits, pensions, and social security. Workers still do not have paid family medical leave guaranteed nationwide (although numerous countries do) and very limited public funded child care. In fact, half of all women employees do not have one paid sick day. Moreover, the federal guarantee of unpaid Family Medical Leave only covers 47% of private sector workers.
Despite women's contributions to the paid workforce, the social polices of our government still do not recognize the changed role of women. Ms. magazine is releasing to the public a feature article, "Paycheck Feminism" (see PDF), which proposes the 5 next steps we as a nation must take to change government social policies.
Media Resources: The Shriver Report 10/09; Ms. Magazine 10/19/09; Interview with Eleanor Smeal 10/19/09
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .