Thursday, January 19, 2006

NOW inserts call for mother's rights in 2005 conference resolutions

It's about time! Here is an excerpt from the resolutions...


WHEREAS, the landmark National Organization for Women (NOW) resolution "Homemaker's Bill of Rights: Economic Recognition for Homemakers" (1978), which called for the acknowledgement of unpaid mothering and caregiving work as a valuable part of our nation's economy, remains largely unfulfilled in state and national legislation nearly thirty years after its passage; and

WHEREAS, U.S. society's underlying bias against mothers' and caregivers' work, whether or not it is performed in conjunction with paid or waged labor, remains institutionalized within the U.S. Government and standard employment practices; and

WHEREAS, in addition to the care of children, our swiftly aging nation is putting women, our traditional caregivers, into an even more tenuous economic position as the unpaid work of eldercare becomes more commonplace; and

WHEREAS, the anti-caregiving movement within conservative politics seeks to roll back entitlements such as Social Security Insurance and the Family and Medical Leave Act, and to further restrict access to public assistance benefits, forcing even greater numbers of women into poverty; and

WHEREAS, the current national discussion over the role of our mothers and caregivers is being led by corporate-owned media and right-wing ideologues; and

WHEREAS, it would benefit both NOW and the nation's mother and caregiver population to build a feminist mothers and caregivers constituency within NOW to promote active resistance to political forces currently in opposition to the women's movement;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW educate the public on this issue, build coalitions with feminist activist groups that advocate for mothers' and caregivers' economic rights and lobby for appropriate federal and state legislation to create programs such as quality universal childcare, Social Security and tax credits for caregivers, and paid family medical leave insurance; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage state chapters to form Mothers' and Caregivers' Economic Rights Task Forces; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage local chapters to form feminist mothering and caregivers programs to recruit women who might not otherwise become members and to develop strong community support for our organization; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Board form a regionally representative ad hoc committee comprised of chapter, state and national activists and experts that will work with the Board and the national officers to develop online resources and action kits, including talking points, programming ideas, media resources, and other materials.

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