Letter to the Editor;
Women in the United States receive 21% less pay on average than our male counterparts. The Paycheck Fairness Act, which is scheduled for a vote Wednesday, Nov 17th in the U.S. Senate, will provide women with the tools necessary to ensure that we receive the FAIR pay we deserve on payday. Senator Scott Brown will play a key role in whether this legislation passes or not.
As a committed advocate for mothers in MA, I understand all too well what it REALLY means for a woman to receive 21% less pay than that of her male counterpart. For mothers, this translates directly into poverty, into crisis, into not enough food for children, into dangerous living conditions and lack of the basics that children need to thrive.
This means that while mothers are working just as hard as their co-workers at the job, they are dealing with much higher levels of poverty, much higher levels of depression and consequently their children are facing staggering obstacles to receive the most basic supports that we want every child to have: security of home, food and having a mom who is ok.
While the general population of mothers experiences postpartum depression at a 10% rate; new research shows that mothers in poverty experience close to a 50% rate of postpartum depression.
When mom is not ok, the entire family suffers. We know from research that when mom is struggling and dealing with depression, children are impacted on every level including the brain development of babies, the school-readiness of young children, the behavioral development of adolescents and the cycle of poverty for young adults.
Senator Brown, I insist that you stand with the women of the Commonwealth and recognize how hard we mothers work to support our families. Protect our right to receive the fair pay we deserve. Let us support our families adequately. We do not want anything other than what is fair. We deserve it and you must agree, that most certainly, our children deserve it too.
Program Director and Founder, Postpartum Support Initiative