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Sunday News Update: November 23, 2015

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Welcome to Brain, Child’s Sunday policy update where we look at issues impacting women and children with Valerie Young, Public Policy Analyst for Mom-mentum.


The number of women holding elected office in the US Congress has finally reached 100.  That’s a first.  Alma Adams of North Carolina has earned that distinction and has already been sworn in.  On the flip side, women still only make up 19% of the House and Senate.  So, after one moment of celebration, it’s back to work for women’s advocates.

The Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University has released a handy summary of the consequences of the mid-terms for women. Take a look – you’ll discover that only five states have female governors, and Iowa has sent the first female US veteran to the Senate, among other things.

The pages of the New York Times have been the scene of a heavy discussion of motherhood recently – are children solely our responsibility, or does the society they will support have some obligation towards them too?  “If you are a woman with children, the expectation that you are first and foremost a mother (or a grandmother) doesn’t just mean that you will be constantly judged and slotted into the “mommy” role. It also means that it’s on you, and entirely on you, to turn those children into self-supporting adults.” The conversation started here and continued on the Motherlode blog.

I whipped up a piece on how contradictory the mid-terms were in showing support for state paid sick days bills and increases to the minimum wage, but not electing individuals who supported those policies for BlogHer.  I also blogged about how you can easily work just a few good sources into your digital life and get a handle on the political side of motherhood.  Sure, you can’t know.  But other people are making decisions about your life every day. And they don’t know what you know about what’s best for you and your family.

Follow Valerie on Facebook at Your (Wo)Man in Washington, and on Twitter @WomanInDC, and find a weekly blog post at

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