February 2008 Archives

NWLC: Proposed FY'09 budget shortchanges women and children


An analysis by the National Women's Law Center of spending cuts included in the Bush administration's proposed FY'09 budget finds that "The President’s budget seeks to cut health care, nutrition and energy assistance for low-income families, violence against women programs, and social services for vulnerable families:"

WPI reports on Senate FMLA hearing


On February 13, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Children and Families held a hearing on the past success and future challenges of the Family and Medical Leave Act. A report from The Source newsletter (published by Women's Policy, Inc., a non-profit organization that tracks women's issues in Congress) highlights testimony by Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Victoria Lipnic of the Department of Labor, Deborah Ness of the National Partnership for Women and Families, and Katheryn Elliot on behalf of the Society for Human Resources Management, a business-friendly professional association.

There's an important story from Newhouse News Service out today which reports on the common practice among private insurers to exclude maternity coverage from individual policies. "Large group plans generally include maternity coverage as a matter of course. But small group plans and individual policyholders may not because it adds too much to the monthly premiums," Regina McEnery reports. This is dismal news for single mothers-to-be by choice or chance who are self-insured or covered by a group policy that excludes maternity coverage for individual policy holders.

In a single day, US domestic violence programs served 53,304


The 2007 National Census of Domestic Violence Services -- which collected reports on the delivery and demand for services in a single 24-hour period from 69 percent of identified domestic violence programs in the US -- found that in one day, 53,303 domestic violence victims received services from local programs, while over 7,000 requests for services were not met due to staff and funding shortages. Approximately 61 percent of unmet requests were for emergency shelter and transitional housing.

Feminism, women, and the vote


AlterNet posted a series of interesting and intelligent perspectives on feminism, women, and the vote yesterday -- and I'm not saying that just because I wrote one of the pieces. (For the record, the original headline I submitted was "Trust Women?: What If We Elect the First Woman President of the United States, and She Sucks?) What's enlightening about the articles -- which include commentaries from Laura Flanders of The Nation and Kimberle Williams Crenshaw with Eve Ensler, plus an excellent overview of the points of conflict by Jill Filipovic -- is that each writer questions the feminist "mandate" to vote for Hillary from a different angle, but all call for a more nuanced understanding of feminist values and goals.

Child care provided in family home child care settings is one of the largest segments of the child care industry, with nearly two million U.S. children spending time in family home-based care each week. According to a new analysis of state regulations to promote the safety and quality of family home care, most states are dropping the ball on protecting the health and development of young children in home care settings.

Tax credits can provide thousands of dollars to families struggling to make ends meet, but many low-income families don't benefit from child care and family tax credits simply because they don't know the credits exist. The National Women's Law Center has created a set of tax credit fact sheets for child care advocates and family service professionals to distribute in their communities. Online resources for parents are also available. Revised to reflect 2008 tax codes, the latest fact sheets include flyers on state credits in English, Spanish and other languages, information about federal tax credits, and a tool kit to help agencies and advocates develop a community tax credit outreach plan. All materials are available from the NWLC web site's Tax Credits Outreach page.

Find out about the family tax credits available in your state.

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Work-Family Research Network interview with Ellen Bravo


The January issue of the Sloan Work and Family Research Network newsletter includes a full-length interview with Ellen Bravo, author of Taking On The Big Boys and former director of 9to5 National Association of Working Women. It's a nice complement to the MMO's August 2007 interview with the author. For example, when asked how to develop more equality between men and women at home, Bravo responds:

I have a saying: "Housework is work to be done by those that live in the house." It’s not mom’s work that others do or don’t help her with. More men would be involved in the home if they weren’t punished for it at work, so we need to change workplace policies. Secondly, assuming that men acknowledge women’s equality, it needs to be clear that men and women are not equal if the work done at home isn’t equal. This doesn’t just refer to chores, it also refers to thinking, analyzing, and arranging. There also must be an acceptance that both jobs are important and that the man’s job doesn’t take precedence.

The Sloan Work and Family Research Network was established to support research and teaching, promote best practices at the workplace, and inform state policy on issues that affect the lives of working families and the places where they work.

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Welcome to MMO Blogworthy


I confess: I have resisted jumping onto to the blogging bandwagon before now. I know, blogs are cool, blogs are great, blogs are the future of citizen-made media. Yet I'm also of the mind that for the most part, the blogging craze hasn't done much to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of do-it-yourself web publishing. And I'm not wild about the cult-of-personality thing that tends to attach to popular bloggers. Be that as it may, here I am.

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