Petition to all Governments: A living wage for mothers and other carers.
Sign on Go Petition here.
We demand a living wage for mothers and other carers because:
· Every worker is entitled to a living wage. Women do 2/3 of the world’s work – in the home, on the land and in the community – but most of this work is unwaged.
· Women are the primary carers everywhere in the world, fighting for the survival and well-being of children and sick, disabled and elderly people, in the home and outside, in peace as in war. Women grow most of the world’s food.
· Most carers, starting with mothers, get no wages and aren’t considered workers.
· Many carers are themselves disabled; many are children caring for younger ones or for their disabled parents; many are grandparents leaving retirement to care for their children’s children.
· Caring is demanding work but the skills it requires are undervalued even in the job market – domestic work, homecare, childcare and even nursing are low paid.
· Valuing caring work would help to close the income gap between women and men. It would also draw more men into caring.
· Financial dependence when caring work is unwaged often traps women in violent relationships.
· Many mothers do several jobs and have to fit time with their children around their job – this is exhausting and stressful for all.
· When mothers are impoverished and overworked, children suffer: hunger, ill-health, violence and exploitation.
· Mothers who have to return to other work soon after childbirth are less likely to breastfeed.
· Workers who take time off to care for children or other loved ones, lose pay, promotion, social security and future pension.
· Devaluing caring work devalues people, relationships and life itself.
· Investing in carers redirects economic and social policies towards survival, health and well-being – for every individual and for the planet which sustains us all.
Caring for others is the foundation of every society, yet this work, done mostly by women, is devalued and underfunded.
We demand that:
1. Every worker be paid a living wage, including mothers and other carers.
2. National and international budgets redirect financial support and resources to mothers and other carers.
Sponsored by: Every Mother is a Working Mother Coalition (US) ● International Wages for Housework Campaign ● Military Families Speak Out (US) ● Nawa Chhattisgarh Mahila Samiti (India) ● Payday men’s network ● Federacion Sindical de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores del Hogar (Peru) ● Single Mothers’ Self-Defence ● Welfare Warriors (US) ● WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities)
UK endorsers (June 2015): All African Women’s Group ● Black Women’s Rape Action Project ● Brighton Feminist Collective ● Caribbean Labour Solidarity ● Christopher Alder Family Campaign ● Disabled People Against Cuts ● English Collective of Prostitutes ● Food for All (Camden) ● Hammersmith & Fulham Coalition Against Cuts ● Independent Catholic News ● International Women Count Network ● Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group ● Lactation Consultants GB ● Legal Action for Women ● London Socialist Film Co-op ● Mammas Community Breastfeeding Support Project ● Mothers at Home Matter ● Queer Strike ● Scottish Kinship Care Alliance ● Scottish Prostitute Education Project (SCOTPEP) ● Sex Worker Open University ● Taxpayers Against Poverty ● Women Against Rape ● x:talk
Some prominent individuals: Mumia Abu-Jamal ● Melissa Benn ● Joanna Biggs ● Julia Bradley ● Margaret Busby ● Bob Crow ● Greg Foxsmith ● David Graber ● Eric Huntley ● Selma James ● Bruce Kent ● Sheila Kitzinger ● Ken Loach ● John McDonnell MP ● Martina Navratilova ● Trenton Oldfield ● Susie Orbach ● Gareth Peirce ● Greg Philo (Glasgow Media Group) ● Kate Pickett ● Dame Philippa Russell, Chair Standing Commission on Carers ● Christina Sammoutis ● Emma Thompson ● Vivienne Westwood ● Zoe Williams ● Walter Wolfgang ● Richard Wilkinson ● Matt Wrack
Ask your organization / group / union to endorse
Petition to US Congress: End poverty of mothers & children. Recognize caregiving work. Support the RISE Act and Reintroduction of the WORK Act.
Sign on Go Petition here.
- 21.6% of US children live in poverty, more than in any other major industrialized country.
- Mothers are the primary caregivers everywhere in the world, working to ensure the survival and wellbeing of children, families and communities.
- Instead of recognition and support, mothers (and others with primary care responsibilities) are deprived of income and resources for this work.
- Since Welfare Reform (TANF) was introduced in 1996, mothers must do unpaid work to ‘earn’ their benefits (Workfare).
- Wealthy mothers can choose to raise their children full-time, mothers on Workfare must leave their children, even without childcare, or lose their benefits.
- Workfare bypasses the minimum wage and drives down all wages, especially women’s, increasing the wage gap between women and men.
- When mothers’ caregiving work is devalued, the children being cared for are devalued.
- Only 36% of welfare money now goes to support families; the rest goes to state bureaucracy, and to remove children from their low-income mothers.
- Breastfeeding among welfare mothers has decreased by 22%, and in Wisconsin, the first to introduce Welfare Reform, infant mortality has increased by 11%, and by 37% in Milwaukee’s African American community.
Therefore we the undersigned:
REAFFIRM that every mother is a working mother, and every child is precious; and
URGE the US Congress to pass and implement the Rise Out of Poverty Act (RISE Act H.R. 3486) and to reintroduce and pass the Women’s Option to Raise Kids Act (WORK Act was introduced by Pete Stark D-CA no longer in Congress) so that welfare policy:
- Prioritizes the elimination of child poverty.
- Enables mothers and other caregivers to choose to raise their children full-time up to the age of three without having to take another job.
- Reflects the value of caregiving work.
Initiated by: Global Women’s Strike ● Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike ● Every Mother is a Working Mother Network
Sponsored by: Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO), Benton Harbor, MI ● Bonnie Atwood, Richmond, VA ● Bonnie Macri, Salt Lake City, Utah ● DHS/DCFS – Give Us Back Our Children/Southern California & Philadelphia ● Energy Rescue, Omaha, NE ● Every Mother is a Working Mother Network/Philadelphia & Southern CA ● Family Advocacy Movement, Omaha, NE ● Family Connection Center, Cleveland, OH ● Fight for Lifers West ● Global Women’s Strike, Guyana, UK, US ● Georgia Citizens Coalition on Hunger, Atlanta, GA ● Human Rights Coalition – Fed-Up, Pittsburgh ● International Women Count Network/Breastfeeding Network, UK & US ● Legal Action for Women, London, England ● Massachusetts Welfare Rights Union, Mattapan, MA ● Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, Detroit, MI ● Military Families Speak Out/Southern California ● National Welfare Rights Union, Detroit, MI ● New Life Career Center, Hempstead, Long Island, NY ● Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights (POWER), Olympia, WA ● Payday Men’s Network, UK, US ● Queer Strike/UK and US ● Red Thread, Guyana, South America ● Shauna Gunderson, Santa Cruz, CA ● Single Mothers’ Self Defense, London, England ● Survival News, Boston, MA ● Survivors, Inc., Boston, MA ● US PROStitutes Collective/San Francisco, CA ● Welfare Warriors MaGoD (Mothers and Grandmothers of the Disappeared Children), Milwaukee, WI ● WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities)/UK & US ● Women for Economic Justice Coalition (WEJ), Oakland, CA ● Women of Color/Global Women’s Strike/ UK & US
Click here for a printable petition.
Endorsers so far: Bay Area Sex Worker Advocacy Network; Brandywine Peace Community; BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action; ; Causa Justa::Just Cause; The Charles Foundation; Chester County Peace Movement Chapter of Coalition for Peace Action; Class Action; Coalition for Peace Action/Princeton; Connecticut Coalition for Peace & Justice; Thomas Paine Cronin, Retired President of AFSCME D.C. 47; Dallas 6 Campaign, PA; Peter Edelman, Georgetown Law; F*WORD (Feminists Working on Real Democracy), a project of the Resource Center for Nonviolence, Santa Cruz, CA; Paul Glover, Green Party Candidate for Governor of PA; Frances Goldin, literary agent, housing activist; John Grant, journalist, Veterans for Peace/Phila area (identification purposes only); Greater New Haven Peace Council; Immortal Technique, Peruvian born American rapper & urban activist; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network; Greg Kaufmann, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Felicia Kornbluh, University of Vermont; PA State Senator Daylin Leach; Main Line Peace Action; Massachusetts Peace Action; Mass Incarceration Working Group, Germantown Friends Meeting; Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club; Montgomery County Peace Action, Maryland; Montgomery County, PA Chapter of the Green Party; The Mosaic Project; Mumia Abu-Jamal; Musicians & Fine Artists for World Peace; National Peace Action; Nebraskans for Peace; New Hampshire Peace Action; No Nukes No War; North Country Peace Group; NOW Philadelphia Branch; Oregon PeaceWorks; Annelise Orleck, Dartmouth University; Parkhouse Studios; Pax Christi Florida; Pax Christi USA; Peace Action West; Peace Action Wisconsin; Peacehome Campaigns; Peace House of Oklahoma; Peak Women, Santa Cruz, CA; Philly Collaborative for Reproductive Justice & Support (PCRJS); Frances Fox Piven; Project for Nuclear Awareness; Queer Student Union, Prescott College; Resource Generation; Dorothy Roberts, University of Pennsylvania; Crystal Sanders, Pennsylvania State University; Cindy Sheehan, Peace and Freedom Party candidate for Governor of CA; Sin Barras, Santa Cruz, CA; Statewide Parent Advocacy Network; Stop Targeting Ohio’s Poor; Students of Color Organizing Against Racism (SCOR), Prescott College; Suffolk Peace Network; Swarthmore Labor Action Project; Dr. Heather Ann Thompson, Professor of African American Studies & History, Temple University; Veterans for Peace/San Francisco; Voices of Women Organizing Project; Cornell West, Princeton professor, activist; Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom/Santa Cruz; Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom – US Section; Women Trans Prisoner Defense Committee, Pittsburgh
Return printed petitions to: PO Box 11795, Phila., PA 19101