Your vote, your choice but for you to be heard, you must vote. With political messages loud and clear, today is the day to get out and vote for not only the president of the United States but for many important issues. The ballot is your chance to be heard and your opinions to be counted.
YWCA-MC remains neutral but individually we vote our conscience and ask you to do the same. Although we are not politically affiliated, we do pay attention to the candidates who incorporate our advocacy issues. Earlier in the month we made those priorities clear:
Quality, affordable health care should be accessible to everyone. Repealing the Affordable Care Act would pose severe risks for women’s health. This includes the loss of free contraception and threats to maternal and newborn care. Furthermore, lifetime caps on coverage could be reinstated and insurers could again use pre-existing conditions to deny coverage. Pre-existing conditions are things like prior pregnancies, breast cancer even domestic violence are used to deny coverage. Since black and Latin women face higher rates of many chronic illnesses, this could threaten their health the most.
Women represent 55.6% of Social Security beneficiaries ages 62 and older, and 65% of beneficiaries are 85 and older. Without it, nearly 9 million more women would live in poverty. Any discussion of privatizing Social Security or raising the retirement age could be detrimental to the basic existence of all these women.
The wage gap contributes to women’s inequality not only in the workplace and at home. Women make up 50% of the national workforce but 95% of the childcare workforce. During the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 60% of childcare centers in the US have closed often pushing women out of the workforce due to the lack of alternative options. Thus it is crucial for us to advocate for the right to affordable child care.
Despite equal pay laws that have existed for decades, the gender wage gap remains at roughly 20% for the overall US population. The wage gap for women of color is even more significant; Latinx women earn approximately 54 cents for each dollar a caucasian male earns. These wage discrepancies significantly impact women and families particularly Latinx, black, and Native American communities where women are the primary breadwinners.
Family and Sick leave
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, only six out of 10 US workers have access to paid sick leave, with those numbers decreasing amount Latinx, Native American, and Alaska Native communities. Workers should have job-protected sick days to attend to recover from personal illness or attend to matters related to the health of family members. We believe familes should not be forced to choose between their health and their economic livelihood.
Taxes and Federal Funding
Our tax system disproportionally impacts the economic livelihood of lower wage-earners who, due to systemic pay inequity are most often women and BIPOCs. The YWCA also recognizes that taxes play a crucial role in funding programs such as SNAP, WIC, and LIHEAP. As such, it is necessary to examine how changes to this system might further jeopardize the financial stability of marginalized communities.
Let’s join together and get out and vote!
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