Helping women

There are two stories at NPR and both show, in different ways, the problems with the current reporting.

The first looks at Ann Romney as part of the Romney campaign:

The Romney campaign was thrilled last week when Ann Romney became the subject of a big misfire from Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen, who said Romney’s wife had “actually never worked a day in her life.”

While Romney focuses on macro issues like the deficit and jobs — where he is the strongest — the Obama campaign is focusing on micro issues like contraception or Romney’s promise to get rid of Planned Parenthood. Those issues, says Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter, drove female voters away from the Republicans this year.

This is almost like a Romney ad–Romney cares about what women really care about … jobs, while Obama cares only about little things. Putting aside the fact that contraception and health care are ‘micro issues’, the other article shows what this one misses:

Bullock was a personal care assistant in Massachusetts; that day, she called in sick. The next day, she had to take her daughter to the hospital, where she was hydrated. The third morning, her daughter seemed better and Bullock got ready to leave for work.

“As I was walking out the door, she vomited again,” Bullock says. “And I was like, ‘I just have to take her to the hospital.’ And so I called in — and when I called in, the care manager that I spoke to said, ‘You just might as well not come back.’ ”

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, head of the mother’s advocacy group MomsRising, says having a baby is a leading cause of temporary poverty. Many women with no maternity leave end up quitting their jobs to care for a baby.

“And when they lose those needed jobs, it’s very hard to get back into the labor force,” she says, “because all of a sudden, we have a cascading impact of motherhood. Right now, child care costs more than university costs in many states in our nation.”

Combine that with women’s unequal pay — and it’s worse for mothers — and, Rowe-Finkbeiner says, some see no choice but to stay home, because they can’t afford child care.

The problem in this article is it doesn’t tell us where the parties or candidates fall on these issues. So, here’s some information:

  • Romney waffles on whether he supports the Lilly Ledbetter law, while it was signed by Obama.
  • Obama is working to expand (and here)  coverage of the medical leave. Romney? Who knows?
  • Obama is trying to extend the Violence against Women Act. Romney? Hard to say? Republicans are against  it.
  • paying for childcare sucks in the US right now, which is why most women don’t have a choice:Across the country, 70 percent of married women over the age of 25 with children work outside the home. The median income of those households is about $87,700, compared with $64,000 for households where the mother stays at home, according to an analysis by Andrew A. Beveridge, a sociologist at Queens College of the City University of New York. “The biggest difference is education,” he said.

    According to the Census Bureau’s 40-year review, “Those with the least education are now the most likely to stay out of the labor force as stay-at-home mothers.”

Why?

Childcare is anything by cheap in this country. The National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies reports that the average annual cost of putting an infant in full-time care can hit $18,200 on the high-end, and the cost for a four-year-old can be as much as $14,050.

I would tell you exactly where the candidates stand, but the newspapers are too busy talking about idiotic stuff to tell us about this ‘micro issue’.

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