Women are half the workforce and families depend on women’s income more than ever before. They are breadwinners or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of American families and continue to bear a disproportionate share of caregiving responsibilities. Yet, our nation’s public policies and workplace practices too often are based on outdated assumptions about who works, who stays home, and the supports necessary to make sure families are economically secure.
Because of this, women and their families are left behind. Women continue to be paid less than men; do not have access to comprehensive health care services, including reproductive health care; struggle to access affordable, high-quality child care and early education; are subject to unpredictable and inflexible work schedules; lack basic benefits such as paid sick leave and family leave; experience workplace discrimination, harassment, and unfair treatment; face barriers in accessing education; and are prevented from taking collective action. Now is the time for advocates and legislators to advance a broad vision that knocks down these barriers, remedies discrimination, ensures accountability, and provides key supports that enable women and their families to be economically secure.