Women put Democrats in power. It’s time to give paid leave

Women showed up to vote record numbers in the 2020 elections, which closely gave Democrats control of the government over all three branches of government. For their victories up and down the ballot, Democratic candidates have women to thank – and they must do so by focusing directly on the priorities and needs of the women who put them in office.

You may have heard of the “gender difference” in elections – often defined as the difference in the percentage of women and men supporting a particular candidate. In fact, in the 2020 presidential election, women voted for President Biden as opposed to 55 to 44 percent. Black women were among President Biden’s strongest supporters, voting for him in equal numbers. larger margins.

But the real gender gap in politics far outweighs voters’ preferences for candidates. Women are the majority in this country and we have been majority of voters in all presidential elections since 1964. In 2020, we almost Another 10 million ballots than our male counterparts.

The women also built the support network that placed President Biden in the White House. Above 2.4 million women donated to Biden’s presidential campaign compared to less than 1.7 million men. Besides, the majority of Biden campaign staff were women.

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In Georgia, where Senate control was decided in 2020, black women right to vote imposed two run-offs and eventually elected Senators Warnock and Osof. Two years earlier, Democrats had taken over control of the House of Representatives thanks to women who voted for Democrats as opposed to 58 percent to 40 percent.

The women who put Democrats in power live in America’s cities, suburbs, and rural areas. We come from different backgrounds and are of different races and ages. But we share the belief that the politicians we have supported must keep the promises they have made to achieve critical priorities in support of women and families – and that our government must represent us.

The initial Build Back Better agenda offered a comprehensive set of interventions with the potential to foster transformative change. After months of negotiations, frame announced by the White House last week includes important historic investments in policies that matter to women, such as child care, child tax credit and home care and community services. These investments will make a big difference in the lives of millions of women, especially care workers who are disproportionately colored women and too often underpaid and undervalued. However, it is still deeply disappointing that a key pillar of the care agenda – national paid family and medical leave – is currently not included in the framework announced by the White House. Without comprehensive paid leave, we miss the opportunity to make a transformative investment in the well-being of women and families across the country.

In the first year of the pandemic, facing children, elderly parents, sick loved ones and themselves – all while trying to keep jobs – nearly 3 million women in the United States were forced to leave the workforce. The main reason is that only 23 percent of workers in the country have access to paid family leave through their employers, according to National partnership for women and families.

Without comprehensive paid leave, we miss the opportunity to make a transformative investment in the well-being of women and families.

Those of us who have been in this position recognize that no one should be forced to choose between pay and care for a sick child or an adult family member. It’s no surprise that 74 percent of women– including 62 percent of Republican women – believe that paid family and medical leave should be included in Democrat legislation “Build back better.”

And yet the United States remains only a country with higher incomes in the world without any form of paid national leave. This is simply unacceptable.

The unified government control that women provide for Democrats provides a chance to correct inequalities and take initiatives that meet the needs of working families. They should not waste it, leaving paid leave in the background.

The women who made their voices heard in the ballot box have raised leaders in the White House and Congress who now have the ability to pursue such transformational change. The women voted and now we are watching.

Women deserve a Build Back Better plan that fully meets the challenges that women face every day. Thanks to the leadership of the President and the supporters in the House of Representatives and the Senate who refuse to give up – and to the millions of people across the country who have spoken and told their stories – paid leave is back to the table. Building back better means creating an economy that works for everyone – and that includes paid leave. As this year’s two-state election and midterm elections are fast approaching, women will be watching and we will be voting again soon.

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