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As the November 6 election draws near, candidates across the country are talking about the issues that they think will get them the very most votes -- but are they missing out?  Are they ignoring important topics?


Let’s face it, women comprise more than half the electorate but all too often the top priority issues of women are absolutely, positively missing from the center stage.  A recent YWCA poll found that nearly 70 percent of women are concerned about unaffordable medical expenses for themselves or their family.  That same high percentage was concerned about making sure that health care insurance is affordable and that Social Security will be there when they retire.  This is what women want the candidates to be talking about.  Women also want the candidates to be talking about the fact that women are facing serious economic hardships, as well as facing racial, ethnic and gender discrimination on a daily basis, and they want the candidates to be talking about the fact that equal pay for equal work is still a priority.

On this show, we're also going to take a look at the hardships because, as we all know, it’s not just about what’s happening in the polls.  It’s about what’s happening in our living rooms, and this poll found that 21 percent reported that they are falling behind on their rent or mortgage payments due to economic insecurity and that 33 percent have had to postpone needed medical care simply because they didn’t have enough funds.  All candidates should be talking about the fact that we still need access to affordable health care; that we still need access to affordable child care; that childcare costs more than college in many states right now; and that everybody gets sick but not everyone has the funds or the time off to get better.

These are the policies that all candidates need to be talking about on the campaign trail. On this show we talk about what’s really going on with women across the nation and about how we can build a stronger national economy through working on the policy priorities that impact us all.


**You can hear the whole show now by clicking here to get the podcast:


Special guests include:

  • Stephanie Coontz, Academic and author of seven books, most recently the author of A Strange Stirring.
  • Kellyanne Conway, President/CEO of the Polling Company/WomenTrend.
  • Amy Allina, Founder of Raising Women’s Voices for Healthcare
  • Jeff Hayes, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research
  • Marilyn Watkins, Policy Director at the Economic Opportunities Institute
  • Ashley Boyd, MomsRising Campaign Director

***LISTEN to the entire “MomsRising with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner” radio show here:


Want Women’s Votes!? Candidates Must Speak to our Issues! MomsRising Radio with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner Highlights:

Stephanie Coontz is an academic and author of seven books, most recently the author of A Strange Stirring.

On her New York Times article "The Myth of the Male Decline" (At 2:54 on iTunes

"There’s been this whole series of books with titles like The End of Men and The Rise of WomenThe Richer SexHow the Majority of New Female Breadwinners are Changing Society.  Some are celebratory; they think it’s great.  Some are very worried; they say that feminism and women’s progress has 'turned men into boys' and you hear phrases like matriarchy, but the point is that these are tremendous exaggerations of what’s going on and they’re not helpful.  They’re not helpful to women who want further progress and who understand that there are still areas of discrimination and they in fact encourage a backlash against women with the idea that there’s in some way, women’s ascent has been driving men down. So what I tried to do in this article is point out first of all that although women have had a remarkable revolution in their options since back in 1963, when the Feminine Mystique was published and women had to work full time, year round with a college degree to earn less than the average male high school graduate, when there was still discriminatory laws and huge attitudes that were head and master laws gave men the final say. There’s been a revolution, this is true, but it is not completed and it does not revolve a reversal."

On what we can do to build a stronger nation where everyone thrives  (At 11:57 on iTunes

“One thing we have to do is get rid of this idea that the American way, and the successes of the American past, have been by people pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps.  That is a physical impossibility.  People need some help and they need steps built for them to ascend. There’s been this tremendous problem in America where we have increasingly insisted that government does not have a role to play in, not only providing social safety nets, but in providing a social ladder that will allow people to move up.  The other thing we have to do is we have to think about continuing discrimination against women.   There are so many ways that that goes on and we have to fight against the new offenses against women’s reproductive rights.  And finally, and I know that this is something that you pay a lot of attention to you in your work -- we all have to pay attention to the fact that today half the work force is women - 70 percent of American kids are raised in families where every adult in the family works.  We have to stop expecting women to be the ones who shoulder that by quitting work or cutting back work.  We need to help men and women find a better balance in their access to a good work life, a lasting work life, and also to a good and lasting family life.”

Kellyanne Conway is the President and CEO of the Polling Company/WomenTrend.   

On presidential candidates addressing the issues that women care about (At 20:28 on iTunes

"Women are still very concerned about healthcare.  One in three women we talked to said that they have personally encountered a struggle in the last couple of years, whether it’s falling behind on their rent or mortgage, receiving free food from a pantry, having their wages or benefits reduced, losing a job, or having someone in their household lose a job.  And even if these women were not the exact victims of these struggles, they of course have compassion and want to help those women in their lives who have struggled. The lack of a personal struggle doesn’t mean lack of compassion for those struggles.

So healthcare remains a big concern, both personally and at the policy level.  You know in Washington, they like to talk about healthcare as a major policy issue and with Supreme Court implications.  But for most women, healthcare is personal --it’s not political...In fact, 68 percent of the women surveyed said a major illness or medical expense would be a big obstacle for them. They admitted that if there was a $1,000 medical bill that they needed to pay, they’d have a real hard time doing so...You know women are interested in negotiation and compromise and getting things done.  The don’t necessarily see that coming out of Washington and some of their state capitals now, but they are hopeful that more women in politics would make a difference.  They believe that - they particularly believe that congressional action should focus on economic issues, particularly expand assistance for small businesses, pass comprehensive immigration reform, and extend the middle class tax cuts that the president and the Republican Congress extended in 2010.. I think as usual, women are proving to be the game changers and decision makers in this election."

Amy Allina is the Founder of Raising Women’s Voices for Healthcare

 On what aspects of healthcare are especially important to women: (At 26:34 on iTunes

“I think one of the things that we’ve seen women respond very positively to is the new policy that went into effect August 1, saying that if we have health insurance with a new health insurance plan, we can get preventive healthcare without having to pay a co-pay.  That feels really important to most women.  These are preventive health services that they know they should be getting, like cancer screenings, mammograms, screening for cervical cancer, and yet for some women, the barrier of the co-pay is stopping them from getting care that they know will help them stay healthy and able to support their families and able to live long, happy lives; and they worry about not being able to get it.  But they sometimes have to make choices between paying the co-pay and doing other things in their lives that they need to.  So a new policy like getting preventive care without any economic barriers is incredibly valuable to women and we’ve seen them respond in a very positive way to that new policy.”

On the organization, Raising Women’s Voices for Healthcare: (At 36:47 on iTunes

“It’s an organization that has focused on trying to make sure that women’s priorities and concerns are a part of the debate in healthcare reform.  So we want to make sure that as healthcare reform goes forward, both implementing the Affordable Care Act and any other changes to the healthcare system, we focus on what women need as the healthcare decision makers for the family, what we need to stay healthy and what we need to guarantee the well-being of our families.  The Affordable Care Act was a really important step forward on all of those fronts and we just want to make sure that as implementation goes forward, the promise of that law is delivered on for women.”

Jeff Hayes is the Senior Researcher at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research

On women's concern for the future of Social Security (At 42:02 on iTunes

“People are right to be concerned. Not because it’s not going to be there but because the other aspects of retirement security that we’ve been told that we should depend on, the idea of pensions and the idea of savings, the other legs of the retirement funding stool, they’ve become so much weaker. Social Security is actually the relatively strong one but the fact is that its benefits are really, really modest and they might not allow them to maintain their standard of living in retirement with the drop in housing equity, with the drop in savings, interest rates and the end of defined benefit pension plans. It’s just that Social Security has become much more important and the benefits haven’t really increased to keep up with what people’s needs will be in retirement.

Marilyn Watkins is the Policy Director at the Economic Opportunities Institute

On how candidates are addressing Social Security: (At 49:14 on iTunes

"Social Security is of course a retirement program.  It’s a universal one that all Americans who work and everyone who’s in a family, who has had someone who worked, can count on when they retire.  About two-thirds of the people who get Social Security today are in fact retirees.  One in four American households actually get income from Social Security.  So it’s not just retirees.  Younger workers and their families also are covered by Social Security insurance benefits. If you become disabled during your working years, you can get Social Security. Almost 20 percent of Social Security recipients are in fact disabled workers and their family members, their children and the spouse if the spouse isn’t working.  And over 12 percent of Social Security recipients are actually survivors of deceased workers. Social Security is also our largest child anti-poverty program because children of deceased workers will also get Social Security benefits.  So it’s a really important program, not just for seniors; but also for all working people today and their families giving them that kind of assurance of some income should some terrible thing happen and they’re no longer able to work and provide for themselves and their family."

Ashley Boyd is a Campaign Director for MomsRising

On what the MomsRising membership across the nation is feeling about voting on November 6th  (At 56:05 on iTunes

“People are very motivated to vote.  What we’re hearing when we send out reminders to vote is that people are saying they’re going to share it with friends.  They’re asking for details about the voter registration deadlines and definitely wanting to make sure that they’re registered. We’ve gotten a lot of feedback that people know about some of the voter suppression attempts and they’re really concentrated and focused on what they need to do to get registered and to be able to vote on Election Day.  So I think this year it seems like members are focused on both voting, getting registered, but then really making sure that they can seal the deal and actually cast their ballot on Election Day.”

On how our listeners can get involved through MomsRising and through MomsRising’s Moms Vote program (At: 56:58 on iTunes

“Well the first most important thing to do is for them to register to vote themselves and they can go to our Moms Vote page, which  And on that page, we have a portal for you to be able to register to vote in any state, which is a great tool.  There’s also a great tool for people like me who are registered or think I’m registered, but want to double, triple check for the reasons I talked about earlier.  So there’s a site called and that lets you go to your state and your county registration rolls and check to see whether you’re registered.  And I found it super helpful and affirming to know that I was indeed registered.”

Fired up? Join MomsRising today! 

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