Compared to men, women spend a disproportionate amount of time attending to the needs of children and adults under their care.. Because of caregiving demands, more than half of employed women caregivers have made special workplace arrangements, such as arriving late, leaving early or working fewer hours. Women represent 61 percent of all caregivers and 75 percent of caregivers who report feeling very strained emotionally, physically or financially by such responsibilities. Minor-aged women and girls also shoulder caregiving duties, usually unrecognized and uncompensated. Affordable, accessible, quality child care and elder care, as well as greater delegation of responsibilities to spouses and partners, are required to offset the overwhelming care loads within families and communities.

Supporting State Child Care Efforts with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds

This report highlights numerous examples of how American Recovery and Reinvestments Act funds have made an important difference for children and families by enabling access to child care assistance, as well as investments in the quality of care. Most notably, ARRA child care funds are helping to prevent families from losing the assistance they need, and expanding this important support to families who have been waiting for much-needed help.

Despite the ARRA funds, states are facing serious budget shortfalls and several have made cuts that negatively impact the availability, affordability, and quality of child care.  With ARRA funds expected to expire at the end of 2010, and a grim outlook for states’ budgets, child care still hangs in balance.

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Feminists in Solidarity with Domestic Workers

The Barnard Center for Research on Women produced this fantastic video of notable feminists supporting the important role domestic workers play.  Look for NCRW friends and family, including Nicole Mason, Liz Abzug, and Carol Jenkins, as they make special appearances. This video is not to be missed!

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The Effect of Spousal Overwork on Men’s and Women’s Employment in Dual-Earner Households

Long hours at the office may heighten gender inequality in the home. In a recent study published in the American Sociological Review, Cornell sociologist Youngjoo Cha finds that having a spouse who works more than 50 hours per week (or overworks) can negatively affect women’s careers.

Long work hours, which have become increasingly prevalent in the United States, are now an established workplace norm. Employees who work long hours are thought to demonstrate professional competence and work commitment. Although this standard seems to be fair for both men and women, it actually disadvantages many women, who have less time available to do paid labor because they are expected to do more housework and perform most of the caregiving responsibilities in the family.


The Economics of Workplace Flexibility (2010)

As part of the White House Forum for Workplace Flexibility, the Council of Economic Advisers released a report presenting an economic perspective on flexible workplace policies and practices.
Work-Life Balance and the Economics of Workplace Flexibility (pdf) highlights changes in American society over the past half century, including the increased number of women entering the labor force, the prevalence of families where all adults work, increasing eldercare responsibilities, and the rising importance of continuing education. These changes are among those that have increased the need for flexibility in the workplace.


Strengthening the Middle Class: Ensuring Equal Pay for Women - Heather Boushey's Testimony Before Congress

To close the gender pay gap, we must address the root causes of women’s lower wages, which includes the segregation of men and women into different kinds of jobs and the inflexibility of the workplace to women’s greater responsibilities for family care. There could not be a more important time to address the issue of gender pay equity. Women are now half of all workers on U.S. payrolls and two-thirds of mothers are bringing home at least a quarter of their family’s earnings. This means the gender pay gap is not just a woman’s issue, it is a family issue that affects the millions of young, old, and middle-aged Americans who rely on a woman breadwinner or co-breadwinner in their family.

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