Petition to the US Congress: End poverty of mothers & children. Recognize caregiving work. Support the WORK and the RISE Acts.
WHEREAS 21.6% of US children live in poverty, more than in any other major industrialized country; and
WHEREAS mothers are the primary caregivers everywhere in the world, working to ensure the survival and wellbeing of children, families and communities; and
WHEREAS instead of recognition and support, mothers (and others with primary care responsibilities) are deprived of income and resources for this work; and
WHEREAS since Welfare Reform (TANF) was introduced in 1996, mothers must do unpaid work to ‘earn’ their benefits (Workfare); and
WHEREAS wealthy mothers can choose to raise their children full-time, mothers on Workfare must leave their children, even without childcare, or lose their benefits; and
WHEREAS Workfare bypasses the minimum wage and drives down all wages, especially women’s, increasing the wage gap between women and men; and
WHEREAS when mothers’ caregiving work is devalued, the children being cared for are devalued; and
WHEREAS only 36% of welfare money now goes to support families; the rest goes to state bureaucracy, and to remove children from their low-income mothers; and
WHEREAS breastfeeding among welfare mothers has decreased by 22%, and in Wisconsin, the first to introduce Welfare Reform, infant mortality has increased by 11%, and by 37% in Milwaukee's African American community;
Therefore we the undersigned:
REAFFIRM that every mother is a working mother, and every child is precious; and
URGE the US Congress to pass and implement the Rise Out of Poverty Act (RISE Act H.R. 3573) and the Women’s Option to Raise Kids Act (WORK Act H.R. 4379) so that welfare policy:
- Prioritizes the elimination of child poverty.
- Enables mothers and other caregivers to choose to raise their children full-time up to the age of three without having to take another job.
- Reflects the value of caregiving work.
Initiated by: Global Women’s Strike • Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike • Every Mother is a Working Mother Network
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