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A Real Support System for Young Mamas and Their Families

Posted by Lauren Khouri, Fellow | Posted on: May 01, 2014 at 11:53 am

Cross-posted from Strong Families.

Contrary to stereotypes and other negative messages that are so popular with mainstream media, parenthood does not have to be the end of the road for young mamas.  Instead, motherhood often motivates and empowers young women to focus on succeeding so they can best provide for themselves and their children.  Unfortunately, too often this sense of drive and determination is halted in the face of discrimination and shame. At the National Women’s Law Center, we frequently hear from young moms who face obstacles to staying in school because of their schools’ rigid policies, many of which are illegal under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal civil rights law that bans sex discrimination in education – including pregnancy discrimination.

Moms like Brandi Kostal.

A student at Logan College in St. Louis, Brandi had an emergency C-section towards the end of her spring term.  Her school only excused absences for jury duty or military service, and for many classes, missing only a few sessions would qualify her for “attendance failure.” Faced with ruining her academic record and not being able to graduate on time, Brandi returned to classes just 11 days after her emergency C-section.

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From the Dorm Room to the White House, Sexual Assault Survivors Are Not Alone

Posted by Katie Hegarty, Online Outreach Assistant | Posted on: May 01, 2014 at 09:21 am

Content warning: This piece discusses sexual assault.  

When I graduated college last May, it felt ridiculously important to me that I establish myself as capital-A Adult. I moved to a new city, I got a full-time job and an apartment, and I came shockingly close to adopting a cat (adults have cats, right?). I wanted to make it clear that I had grown beyond my college identity.

But that changed this week, when I realized I will always be connected to my alma mater — especially when headlines like these splash across the homepages of popular news outlets:

U.S., Tufts University at Odds in Handling Sexual Assaults

Tufts University and Federal Government in Standoff Over Sexual Assault Policies

Tufts Found in Violation of Title IX Sexual Assault, Harassment Regulations

Tufts University, the school I called home for four years — where I learned what Title IX even is — was recently found to be out of compliance with federal Title IX regulations for handling sexual assault cases on college campuses. And unfortunately, this news surprised very few students and recent alumni.

Rape culture is pervasive even when administrators wish it weren’t. Survivors wish that, too, but we don’t have the luxury of ignoring the fact that one in five women will be sexually assaulted during college [PDF].

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How a Bill Doesn't Become a Law — Schoolhouse Rock Revisited

Posted by Amy Qualliotine, Outreach Manager | Posted on: April 30, 2014 at 02:01 pm

A few years ago I was teaching 4th grade Social Studies. About a week into the government unit I did what any self-respecting Social Studies teacher would do – show “I’m Just a Bill,” the 1975 Schoolhouse Rock classic tale of how a bill becomes a law.

The video tells the tale of a “sad little scrap of paper” – Bill – making the arduous journey to becoming a law. The journey is long, but simple. Some folks shared an idea for a new law with their Congressman, he agreed and introduced Bill who gets stuck in committee for a bit (at this point Bill frets that he might die!), Bill passes the House and then the Senate, narrowly escapes a veto, and is finally signed into law by the President!

But lately it feels like I was teaching my students the wrong thing. I mean that’s ‘technically’ the way a bill becomes a law (and all a ten-year-old really needs to understand) but there are so many additional roadblocks to quality legislation.

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Nearly 1 in 5 Working Mothers With Young Children Work In Low-Wage Jobs

Posted by Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Senior Policy Analyst | Posted on: April 30, 2014 at 11:29 am

We all know it is tough to be a working mom with young children – but a new NWLC analysis shows that some moms face particular challenges as breadwinners and caregivers.  They work in low-wage jobs, so it’s difficult to earn enough to meet children’s basic needs, such as a home in a sa Read more... 4 comments

"Tough" Choices: House Prioritizes Corporate Subsidies Over Jobless Workers

Posted by Emily Wales, Fellow | Posted on: April 29, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Congress, I’m going to be real with you – your priorities are out of whack.

Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means approved six bills to permanently extend certain tax cuts for corporations, to the tune of $300 billion in corporate subsidies over 10 years.

You know what the House didn’t do? Take up the Senate’s bipartisan bill to extend federal emergency unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for nearly 2.6 million Americans who have lost their benefits since the program’s expiration in December.  Last month, Senators came together from across the aisle to announce a deal to extend supports for long-term jobless workers – workers who have been unemployed for more than six months and whose state benefits have run out. The Senate passed a bill, sent it to the House, and watched it go nowhere.

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$300 Billion for Corporate Tax Breaks and $0 for Jobless Workers — Really?

Posted by Reggie Oldak, Senior Counsel and Director of Government Relations | Posted on: April 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means approved six bills that would permanently extend tax subsidies for corporations, at a 10-year cost of over $300 billion.

During the committee markup, Ranking Member Sander Levin tweeted that making these provisions permanent without paying for them is “both fiscally irresponsible and fundamentally hypocritical”. We agree with Rep. Levin and the other Committee members who voted with him against these bills.

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Michelle Freidland Confirmed to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Posted by Amy K. Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Women and the Courts | Posted on: April 29, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Michelle Friedland to the Ninth Circuit by a vote of 51-40. This important court will definitely benefit from now-Judge Friedland’s exceptional talents, and her confirmation as the 17th woman ever to sit on that court increases its diversity.

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Take Action on the Minimum Wage

Posted by Amy Qualliotine, Outreach Manager | Posted on: April 29, 2014 at 10:18 am

TOMORROW, your Senators will be voting on the minimum wage! If the Fair Minimum Wage Act passes, more than 15 million women would get a raise — including more than 1 in 5 working mothers.

Demand that your Senators do right by women and raise the minimum wage!

Call 1-888-851-1916 to tell your Senators it’s time to raise the minimum wage.

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