STATEMENT OF Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director, CEO and Co-Founder, Momsrising, on Presidential Debate
October 17, 2012
Rowe-Finkbeiner responding to inclusion of issues important to moms in the United States in last night’s presidential debate between President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney
“Last night during the presidential debate, the candidates spent time addressing many of the family economic security issues most important to America’s moms: fair pay, healthcare, childcare, flexible work, clean air, and the concerns of immigrant families were all discussed.
While the pundits hash out who won last night, we at MomsRising are applauding the fact that women and family economic security policies finally broke through in this high-stakes presidential debate. It took a MOMumental effort: Tens of thousands of MomsRising members took action -- using our outside voices, publishing blogs, sending letters, and even casting votes via Google Moderator to call for a debate question about key family economic security policies and fair pay. Thanks to their efforts, many of our top priorities finally made it to the national stage. We were delighted to hear women's economic concerns addressed as key issues not only for women, but for our economy and for our nation.”
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For more information or for interviews with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Rowe-Finkbeiner appeared on the September 8th edition of the UP with Chris Hayes on MSNBC to discuss pay-equity and other issues important to mothers in the United States.
In an editorial in the October 17th issue of USA Today, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner outlined what women want from the candidates this election.
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Column: What Women Want: At Tuesday's debate presidential candidates must address economic security issues, like paid sick leave.
6:41PM EDT October 16. 2012 - As we celebrated the International Day of the Girl and praised the bravery of Pakistani teenage girl Malala Yousafzai -- who stood up for equal rights and access to education -- it was hard not to think about the future of our girls in America.
We are blessed for living in this great nation that protects our freedoms and allows us to constantly transform it to reach equality forall. The decisions we make around family economic security issues not only shape the present for women across the nation, but also shape the future oftens of millions of girls growing up today.
Will the jobs our children hold offer basic support like paid sick days and paid family and medical leave, or will another generation of moms struggle in the workforce as we do today? Will they be able to find affordable childcare when they get jobs, or will childcare costs continue to outpace even the cost of a college education? Will they be paid fairly, or will they face discrimination in hiring, promotions and pay as women do today?
At a time when women are central contributors to our economy, and more than half the electorate, we expect journalist Candy Crowley, the moderator of tonight's presidential debate, not to miss the opportunity to make sure these questions are answered.
The failure to deal with these issues is costing us dearly. According to the U.S Census, more than 80% of women in our nation become mothers and having a baby is a leading cause of "poverty spells." Three-quarters of moms are in the labor force, and half of them are the primary breadwinners for their families.
Our family economic security policies are stuck in the past; we need a serious discussion addressing them. Women are projected to create more than half of the 9.72 million expected new small business jobs by 2018. Women make three-quarters of the purchasing decisions for households.
Yet there's still rampant wage discrimination with women on average making only 77 cents to a man's dollar for full-time work, and mothers and women of color are most impacted.
When women don't have adequate funds in their pockets, our entire economy -- which for better or worse is now built on consumer spending -- suffers.
Moms and women want debates -- and candidates -- that openly and fully focus on the economic issues we face each day. Public opinion research bears that out. A poll conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research found that more than half of women voters (including 75% of Hispanic women, 80% of African American women, and 65% of women under 50) say they are more likely to support an elected official who supports paid sick days, a critical family economic security policy.
The moderator of tonight's presidential debate must not miss the opportunity to bring forward these economic security issues. People across our nation are waiting for answers.
Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner is the executive director and co-founder of MomsRising.org.
In addition to its own editorials, USA TODAY publishes diverse opinions from outside writers, including our Board of Contributors.