Women. Mothers. Single women as mothers. The nurturing qualities for which women are justly celebrated are not distributed in equal degrees. But regardless of what kind of mother you yourself are so far–or hope to be–you have a mother of your own. And there’s no human connection like the one between mother and child. Even when fraught with pain, it is yet the most powerful bond on earth.
Tomorrow is a day to celebrate the mother in us all. Let us stand together on this day. For just a moment, close your eyes and imagine you’re holding hands with every other woman on earth–imagine your neighbor, your coworker, your friend, your sister, aunt, cousin, your mom (even if she’s not here). Feel in your sister’s hands the warmth of her love for you, feel the energy of your friend’s pains and joys passing to your fingers. Send your coworker the peace you feel in a tender moment with someone you love, feel tension and pain ebb away in the shared warmth of your hands touching.
Feel the strength you pass between you, the courage you celebrate in each other, the laughter and the tears you share with all these other women. And just for a moment, know with absolute certainty that we are all in this together.
Barbara Payne, May 12th 2007 |
Found some stats about unequal women’s pay at this student labor website. Fortunately, many single working women are now very successful financially, but when you think about the implications of these facts for a lot of other single women, you can see how far we have yet to go.
Significant: “If married women were paid the same as men in comparable jobs, their family incomes would rise by nearly 6 percent, and their families’ poverty rates would fall from 2.1 percent to 0.8 percent.”
Even more significant: “If single women earned as much as men in comparable jobs, their incomes would rise by 13.4 percent and their poverty rates would be reduced from 6.3 percent to 1 percent. And if single working mothers earned as much as men in comparable jobs, their family incomes would increase by nearly 17 percent and their poverty rates would be cut in half, from 25.3 percent to 12.6 percent.”
I don’t love statistics. They can be jimmied around to “prove” pretty much anything you want. But they can still give us some guidance on what we should be shooting for. The fact is that more and more people are remaining single–doesn’t look like that trend is changing any time soon–and that 40% of births in the U.S. today are to single mainly-adult women (not teenagers).
So it appears that the simple move of paying men and women equally for the same work could quickly and dramatically change the landscape for hundreds of thousands of our children…both today and in the future…without having to think up or do anything else. And how would businesses adjust? The same way they have always done to “impossible” increases in the minimum wage.
Be inspired by how the Grameen Foundation is empowering people–and attacking poverty at its roots. These are the folks that SWWAN will be contributing a portion of its revenues to.
Now if we want to talk about saving businesses money, let’s talk about health care costs.
Barbara Payne, April 29th 2007 |