Flowers and chocolate are great. Really, they are. But our state’s working moms deserve so much more. North Carolina’s mothers deserve equal pay. As we’ve written before, North Carolina’s working women are still only earning 80.7 percent of men’s earnings. And that’s despite the fact that 42.7 percent of working mothers in North Carolina are the family’s breadwinner.
In addition to affordable, quality child care, working parents – mothers and fathers – also need job security and economic stability when they need to take care of sick kids or parents. Parents need paid maternity and paternity leave when welcoming a new child into the family. And parents need time off work to care for themselves and their families if an unexpected longer-term illness strikes.
In time for Mother’s Day, the NC Justice Center has released a brief on the importance of Family and Medical Leave Insurance, a policy that can increase job and economic stability while North Carolina’s parents are raising the next generation. As this Huffington Post blog points out:
This Mother’s Day, when you pick out that special card or place your bouquet order, consider the working mom at the register. She too needs a gift. It’s time for us to unify around more than our purchases and realize that what moms (and dads) want and what our nation needs is for their children to thrive. It turns out that if our infants do well, our nation does well too. By packaging paid family leave and quality affordable infant care, we can give babies a strong start in their first year of life. That’s a package of policies ready for wrapping.