Re:Gender works to end gender inequity and discrimination against girls and women by exposing root causes and advancing research-informed action. Working with multiple sectors and disciplines, we are shaping a world that demands fairness across difference.
The Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) is a competitive grant program created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that provides funding to states and tribes to support programs that provide pregnant and parenting women and girls with supportive services to help them complete high school or postsecondary degrees (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2010a). Only two states, Minnesota and Virginia, have used their PAF grants to provide services related to postsecondary institutions. This fact sheet describes several of the programs and initiatives created by these PAF grantees. Unless otherwise noted, all program information comes from interviews with program officials and staff.
Postsecondary students with children often need an array of supports to succeed in their studies, which can require significant coordination among new and existing services (Conway, Blair, and Helmer 2012; Henrici n.d.; Miller, Gault, and Thorman 2011). Such supports might include financial aid, academic and career counseling, job placement assistance, transportation, housing, child care, and classes in English-as-a-Second Language. To more effectively provide an expanded range of student resources, community colleges often partner with local nonprofits, private businesses and foundations, and government institutions (Altstadt 2011; Bragg et al. 2007; Bray, Painter, and Rosen 2011; Conway, Blair, and Helmer 2012; Leutz 2007; Singh 2007; Wilson 2010).
Single motherhood is very common. Around half of today’s mothers will spend at least some time as the sole custodial parent. At any one time, almost one quarter of mothers are single mothers. Read more about single mothers in this report, including on employment, income, and poverty.
Parents with dependent children were nearly one quarter of students enrolled for credit at American postsecondary institutions in 2008. These students face significant challenges to remaining enrolled and graduating, including limited access to affordable child care, difficulty balancing the demands of school with the demands of work and family, and financial limitations that make it difficult to remain enrolled. Student parents are more likely than traditional students to say that financial difficulties are likely to result in their withdrawing from college (Miller, Gault, and Thorman 2011).
Parents with dependent children now make up almost one in four students pursuing higher education in the United States (Miller, Gault and Thorman 2011). Single parents face particular challenges pursuing higher education, including securing safe and affordable housing. Single mothers often must spend over half of their income on housing expenses, leaving them with less money for educational expenses and vulnerable to housing crises that can easily derail their pursuit of a degree (Bush 2010). An analysis of effective strategies to support single student parents identifies affordable housing as one of the most important factors to ensuring student success (Women Employed 2011).
This toolkit is the first in a series by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). It introduces the wide variety of child care services that exist at institutions of higher learning. Rather than an exhaustive study of campus child care programs, it is an introduction to possible options. It is for those seeking to provide quality child care at colleges or universities and for those considering how to expand or rethink existing services.
Sixty-three percent of all births to women under 30 in Lorain County occur outside marriage, according to Child Trends, a research center in Washington. That figure has risen by more than two-thirds over the past two decades, and now surpasses the national figure of 53 percent.
The change has transformed life in Lorain, a ragged industrial town on Lake Erie. Churches perform fewer weddings. Applications for marriage licenses are down by a third. Just a tenth of the students at the local community college are married, but its campus has a bustling day care center.
The New York Times interviewed several dozen people in Lorain about marriage here. What follows are their stories.
Young parents spoke of an economy that was fundamentally different from in their parents’ time, and that required more than a high school education for fathers to be stable breadwinners. They talked of how little they trusted each other to be reliable mates, and of how the government safety net encourages poor parents to stay single.
As we look at the prominent and adoring coverage of celebrity moms and babies -- such as the recent media excitement that surrounded the birth of Beyoncé's daughter Blue Ivy -- how can we doubt that motherhood, and the health and welfare of all mothers, is a cornerstone of our culture?
Today the International Museum of Women launches MAMA, a new online exhibition on motherhood that suggests a far more complex and confusing picture.
Both the global statistics and our exhibition tell a story that is very different to the glowing and positive picture that surrounds each new celebrity birth.
Every 90 seconds a woman somewhere in the world dies from a complication of pregnancy or childbirth, and most of these deaths are preventable. And while it is true that the vast majority of these deaths occur in the developing world, the U.S. significantly lags other developed nations: the United States' rate of maternal mortality is the highest of any industrialized country. The United Nations rightly identified reducing the number of global maternal deaths as a key millennium development goal. Yet of all the millennium goals this one has made the least progress.
MAMA: Motherhood Around the Globe is an online exhibition of global art, voices and ideas. Visit our virtual galleries to be inspired, connect, and take action on issues that matter to mothers around the world.
Of the 12.2 million American children under the age of five whose mothers are in the paid workforce, nearly a third (32 percent) are "regularly" cared for by their fathers, compared with 26 percent nine years ago.
Which hardly means that fathers come close to mothers in the numbers that are the primary or regular caregivers for their children. Still, if the goal is eventual parity at home and work, this is a small (but statistically significant) step in the right direction. Right?
On the one hand, the reason for the increase in fathers as caregivers is not that men have "opted out" of the workforce in swarms, motivated by a new yearning to be with their children. Most of them left their jobs because they lost them. The Great Recession was dubbed the "Mancession" by economists, because it fell far harder on men than women. Another of its results -- that women now account for 50 percent of all workers for the first time in history -- is a similarly unclear "victory." Women caught up not because they sped up, but rather because men slowed down. I'm not sure that counts as progress.
And yet, change is born of new norms. If you see something often enough, it becomes what you expect to see. The more we see fathers staying home with children, whatever their reasons, the more accepted it becomes for fathers to be at home with children. Dads who are clearly involved, whether by choice or by circumstance, lead us to eventually assume that's just what Dads do. The more men are "regular" caregivers, the more they will be perceived as such -- even presumed to be such -- and the freer they will be to take on that role.