Policy Update: April 24, 2015

Policy Update: April 24, 2015

imrsA quick look back at events this week impacting women and families, from Valerie Young, a public policy analyst with Mom-mentum.

Happy Friday – the weekend is here, and so is the rundown on family policy news.

It’s Women’s Health Week. Don’t forget to take care of yourself while you’re taking care of everybody else.  A quick checklist from the US Office of Women’s Health will keep you on track.

New data keep coming about the importance of the earliest years in brain development, and how intelligent policies can support families with young children and really pay off when they become adults.  Nick Kristof takes a look in this New York Times article.

The campaign to get a woman on the $20 bill is gaining steam, and four finalists have been selected.  Send in your vote for Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Wilma Mankiller, or Rosa Parks right here.  My fave, Shirley Chisholm, sadly didn’t make the cut.

The US Breastfeeding Committee has released state fact sheets.  The benefits are legion, but it can be complicated by personal factors and a lack of support.  Practically every state has a coalition if you need resources. Find your fact sheet through this page.

Following last week’s White House push for pro-family policies, the President reminds us that nothing will get better unless we go public with our stories and insist on  solutions.  There is just no substitute for sharing stories and coming together around common frustrations.  You have a role to play – don’t sit on the sidelines for yourself and your family.

Image courtesy of Women on 20s

photo (662x800)Follow Valerie on Facebook (Your (Wo)Man in Washington) and Twitter (@WomanInDC) and find her on the blog at Mom-mentum.

Sunday News Update, September 21, 2014

Sunday News Update, September 21, 2014

Valerie Young HeadshotWelcome 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 formerly National Association of Mothers’ Centers.

After moving the Paycheck Fairness Act forward last week, the US Senate killed it this week, falling 8 votes short of the 60 needed to keep it going.  Cited by the Republican opposition is the bill’s protection of workers who discuss their compensation with colleagues from retaliatory action by their employer.  Without wage transparency, it’s hard to know if discrimination is occurring.The Senate’s action was particularly disappointing as the latest poverty data, from the US Census Bureau and released this week, shows that women still make far less than men, even when employed full time and year round.  The pay gap narrowed by one cent, but is still  yawning 22%. Wages are totally flat, and the poverty rate is not decreasing at all.  Sigh.

A whole panel of female members of Congress, Hillary Clinton,  and other women wonks had a great discussion Thursday morning at the Center for American Progress under the title Why Women’s Economic Security Matters To All.   Everything came up – child care as economic policy, pay equity, family leave and sick leave, women in public office—it was all on the table.

Hillary Clinton is under a lot of scrutiny, and her comments at the event were parsed to see if her intention to run in the next presidential election could be discerned.  The New York Times devoted a whole article just to what she said – even though all that political estrogen in one room is newsworthy in and of itself.  “The difference women and men face in getting the kinds of jobs that will provide the kind of income they need for themselves and their families is roiling beneath the surface of the political debates,” Mrs. Clinton said, according to the New York Times.

Parting shots:

From US News:  “Even though it’s the biggest economy in the world, the U.S. falls far behind other developed countries when it comes to requiring pay during sick days, which advocates say could improve productivity, boost morale, support public health and even enhance a business’s bottom line.”Can you avoid hitting the motherhood penalty?  Flexjobs.com has some suggestions—but they won’t make an immediate fix.

When applying jobs, don’t think you actually have to possess all the requirements listed.  Other applicants don’t.  A fabulous article from the Harvard Businss Review, Why Women Don’t Apply For Jobs Unless They Are 100% Qualified.

Until next week…

Follow Valerie on Facebook at Your (Wo)Man in Washington, and on Twitter @WomanInDC. Valerie went to a feminist  conference in New York City last weekend. See her thoughts at Mom-mentum’s Your Woman in Washington blog.