Bailout Blues: Opportunity in Crisis
With corporate bailout after bailout hitting the news, families struggling with a sinking national economy, and a new administration on the way in, we have a unique opportunity to make real--and tremendously overdue--progress for work and family economic security in our nation.
And, yes, progress is needed. While it may not hit the headlines every day, on a daily basis people are now worrying about work and family responsibilities nearly as much as they are worrying about the national economy. In fact, a poll conducted by Lake Research Partners earlier this month found that those concerns are neck-and-neck: Daily worries about work and family responsibilities proved to be frequent for 72 percent of working fathers and 67 percent of working mothers with children under 18. In comparison, 73 percent of working fathers and 74 percent of working mothers worried on a daily basis about the economy. That's about as close as you can get.
People are worrying for good reason. Our nation is behind most other industrialized nations when it comes to work and family policies, and yet many families are struggling to make ends meet. We work more hours per week than most other nations, but are barely treading water when it comes to family economic security. People are caught between an economic rock and a hard spot: Deciding whether to be able to put food on the dinner table or be at the dinner table,
As we rethink the economy and set new priorities, this is the perfect moment to integrate work and family initiatives into contemporary economic security strategies.
Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner is a co-founder and Executive Director of MomsRising.org. She is co-author (with Joan Blades) of The Motherhood Manifesto, which makes the case that it's time for a broad change in America's support for mothers and families. The Motherhood Manifesto identifies and challenges the obstacles facing working mothers today, and proposes concrete solutions. In 2007, The Motherhood Manifesto book won the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize. Rowe-Finkbeiner is also author of The F-Word: Feminism in Jeopardy, which was awarded first place by the Independent Book Publishers Association in the category of Women's Issues.
MomsRising.org is an organization working to build a truly family-friendly nation. Started in May, 2006, MomsRising uses the power of online organizing in coordination with grassroots activities and media outreach to educate the public about problems facing American families and to propose common sense solutions. MomsRising.org provides citizens with an opportunity to amplify their voices and to take their concerns to leaders who are in positions to implement real changes.
Find us and join us at MomsRising.org.