Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Peek Into the Life of a Working Mom: It is time for equal pay for equal work

My sister and I, partners in the fight for pay equity...
 To every woman who gave birth to every tax payer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America!” --Patricia Arquette

On Oscar night, Patricia Arquette lobbied for equal rights and equal pay for women in her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress. Meryl Streep cheered for her like she was caught in the spirit at a church revival. Jennifer Lopez and the other members of the audience applauded. And those of us at home on Twitter were impressed and moved to tweet about it.  



 My Tweet from last night
As a working mom, and one who uses her blog to advance this issue, I had to comment.  Patricia’s speech was an excellent example of passion and politics intersecting in a very powerful way.  She is right. It is both unconscionable and unAmerican that women get paid less to do the same work. And that needs to change.

That said, we need to work to cure other inequities as well. Feminists fought for women to achieve equal opportunities in employment. They fought for women to be able to work outside of the home. Like Ms. Arquette, they continue to fight for equal pay for equal work. They are fighting long and hard and the work is important.



However, even though the feminist movement was successful in creating more opportunities for women, we gave up none of our obligations. Indeed, our workplace is increasingly becoming more equal. However, we have not made much progress at home. There are now greater expectations on women than ever before.

We work harder. We work longer. And many of us are exhausted most of the time!

There are days when I am so overwhelmed by the expectations of me that I cry. And I know that am not alone. Many working mothers now manage households and work full time. It is A LOT. Saying that is merely an observation. I hope that saying it out loud helps to illuminate the truth and motivates change.

Expecting women to do the same work as men, in the workplace and also do the majority of the work at home is both unfair and unhealthy. We need parallel movements—one in the workplace and one at home—to make true equality for women (from a work/life quality perspective) possible.  

Here's to equality! Thanks to Patricia Arquette for reigniting this discussion!

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