(WOMENSENEWS)--While Washington lawmakers are debating President-elect Barack Obama's economic stimulus proposal, Blanca is cleaning houses.
We, however, are listening closely, ready to respond to any package that does not include several easy steps, outlined below, to ensure that low-wage working women are also assisted by an economic stimulus plan that could swell to $850 billion. Otherwise we will continue to put forward old solutions to new problems.
Blanca is the parent of four children ranging in age from 5 to 13. She has no health insurance, and if she misses a day of work she also misses a day's pay. She juggles child care to keep her cleaning jobs. Her sister helps with the children during the day before going to her restaurant job at night. Blanca makes about $1,000 per month.
Blanca is a low-wage worker. She is one of 30 million U.S. residents who are heading families that include 20 million children.
Sixty-eight percent of low-wage workers are women. Nearly one-third of women in the work force have low-wage employment compared with one-fifth of male workers. Women bring home at least one-third of all family income, a significant contribution to the stability of the U.S. economy. Any plans for stabilizing the economy will need to consider the larger effects that job loss and women's declining wages have on communities.
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