Michelle Obama isn't the only one flexing her right to bare arms. The millions of women proclaiming their friends as Mom of the Year this past week is nothing short of a national mom uprising. This week 7 million people viewed the MomsRising.org Mother of the Year Award customizable video in honor of Mother's Day.
You can watch the video here.
Along with Beyonce, ponytail advice, and naked dogs, this video includes serious facts about mothers in the U.S. today. So in case you were too smitten by baby Joshy talking, and too distracted by watching President Obama sing the praises of your favorite mom, to read the text crawl at bottom of video screen, here's what it says:
"Moms in this country are way undervalued - Mothers make 73 cents to every dollar an equally qualified man makes at the same job - Single mothers make only about 60 cents to a man's dollar - Those two facts, it should be noted, really suck - especially because men aren't making much these days either - Over a lifetime mothers are paid anywhere from $400,000 to $2 million less than men doing the same work due to gender wage disparity. That's a ridiculous "Mommy Tax." A full quarter of US families with children less than 6 years old live in poverty - Well duh, all these other statistics would lead to this likely outcome - Motherhood is one of the hardest full-time jobs that does not come with Social Security or health benefits - It does however come with a lot of labor as well as love."
It's important to have fun celebrating moms, especially on Mother's Day. As the video says, "A big thank you for an often thankless job."
It's also time to get serious about insisting that mothers are treated fairly in the work place and to demand that economic security policies for families be a top priority in our nation, including: Creating a healthcare system that works for both families and business; passing paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance; moving fair pay bills forward like the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Fair Pay Act of 2009 so gender based wage disparities can be addressed front and center; guaranteeing a minimum number of paid sick days that all people can earn each year in our nation; and making sure that all children have quality early learning opportunities, are all ways we can lower the wage gap between moms and non-moms while also helping our children and nation thrive.
The fact of the matter is that our nation still needs to catch up to the modern reality that the majority of mothers are juggling an unprecedented number of roles at home and in the workplace at the same time. More than three-quarters of moms are in the labor force and families are increasingly relying on their wages to make ends meet, yet there is a profound wage and hiring bias against mothers.
There are 83 million of moms in our nation--and a full 80 percent of American women have children by the time they are forty-four years old. In other words, the vast majority of women in our nation become mothers so these issues directly touch all of us in some way or another. The fact that a study last year found that women with equal resumes are 79% less likely to be hired if they are mothers--and another study found that women without children earn 90 cents to a man's dollar while mother's earn only 73 cents--show that we've got to address these issues front and center as we rebuild our nation because we all lose when such a large portion of our nation is falling behind.
Let's join Michelle Obama in flexing her right to bare arms. Moms are powerful. Our voices are strong and our networks are vast. Watch the video, send it along to all the moms in your life to celebrate what they do each and every day, and then sign up to join the national uprising with MomsRising.org in honor of Mother's Day.
Follow Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/rowefinkbeiner