FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 28, 2021
Contact: William Lutz | firstname.lastname@example.org | (202) 684-7534
Washington, D.C. — President Biden today announced a framework for his Build Back Better plan and it includes an historic investment in child care, children’s education, care for our aging population, Medicaid coverage for low-income Americans, and housing and nutrition programs.
“This is a historic win for all of us. The Build Back Better plan President Biden outlined and its promised investments are a down payment on a fairer, more equitable economic future,” said C. Nicole Mason, President and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
A key investment for American families in the Build Back Better framework are its child care programs. A May 2021 survey by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research showed that close to two-thirds of women with children report being very or somewhat worried about balancing work responsibilities with their own family needs. The final framework of the Build Back Better plan will help address these concerns by providing the much-needed assistance in securing the child care services women need to pursue their careers and provide for their families.
“Access to affordable child care is a fundamental need for women in today’s workforce,” said Mason. “It opens new doors for women to pursue careers and helps strengthen families and improve their financial security, boosting the economy in the process. This is a vital and necessary support women need as they re-enter the workforce after a pandemic that saw women disproportionately affected by job losses and unemployment compared to men.”
At the same time, Mason lamented the fact that paid leave was left out of the final package, dealing a disappointing blow to American workers.
“Paid leave is crucial for American workers and their families,” said Mason. “We learned during the pandemic that paid sick leave was not a ‘nice to have’ but a necessity for the most vulnerable workers and for families. It now falls to the states to protect workers and provide paid leave programs so workers do not have to choose between their jobs and families when faced with life changes or serious health challenges.”
Currently, 10 states offer paid family leave or are in the process of implementing these programs.
Recent IWPR research shows the importance of paid leave to American women, especially during the pandemic. A 2021 IWPR survey of women working in the construction trades showed that the majority who had to take time off due to COVID had to do so without pay. In total, more than 2.3 million women across industries left the labor force due to the pandemic, including many women of color. The child care industry, overwhelmingly staffed by women, was also decimated by COVID. Benefits like paid leave will facilitate the return of these women to the workforce, further boosting our nation’s pandemic recovery.
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research strives to win economic equity for all women and eliminate barriers to their full participation in society. As a leading national think tank, IWPR builds evidence to shape policies that grow women’s power and influence, close inequality gaps, and improve the economic well-being of families. Learn more at IWPR.org and follow us onTwitter.