The work performed by mothers at home has traditionally been unpaid, but one unexpected by-product of lockdown, when everyone was working from home, an increasing number of women began to ask: how come I’m the only one not being paid?
Now, a full-page advertisement, in the form of an open letter to the new president, has been placed in The New York Times, telling President Biden that women are sick of working for free.
“Motherhood isn’t a favour, and it’s not a luxury. It’s a job,” read the letter.
The ad was the latest campaign from The Marshall Plan for Moms, the brainchild of author, activist and founder of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani.
The New York Times letter was signed by 50 high-profile women including Alyssa Milano, Charlize Theron, Amy Schumer, Julianne Moore and Eva Longoria.
It was also signed by Tarana Burke, founder of the #metoo movement.
The Marshall Plan for Moms
The Marshall Plan for Moms is calling for the government to pay mothers for parental labour, in much the same way as childcare workers are paid to perform the same work.
It’s also calling for the introduction of family-friendly policies that, in addition to being more equitable, could help rebuild the economy in the post-COVID-19 world.
The Marshall Plan for Moms aims to become a viral campaign.
It’s named after the 1948 Marshall Plan, which allocated $US15 billion to rebuilding Western Europe after World War II.
The Marshall Plan for Moms is urging President Biden to develop a plan, similar is scope and aspiration to the 1948 Marshall Plan, and implement a monthly payment to mums, as well as policies like paid family leave, affordable childcare and equal pay.
Whilst Australia is way ahead of the USA (we already have Family Tax Benefits and Parenting Payments), there’s still a long way to go before women are adequately compensated for their work.
So, what are the chances that men are going to give up a system in which half the population works for free?