By Allison Stevens
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
When mothers of young children got elected to Congress a nursing room and day-care center opened on Capitol grounds. That's the kind of representation and advocacy that parents with young children need out here in the real world.
(WOMENSENEWS)--Aside from all being women, what do the following 2010 U.S. congressional candidates have in common?
The answer: unusual youth.
All five are endorsed by the Women-Under-Forty Political Action Committee, known as WUFPAC, which formed in 1999 in Washington, D.C., to support all younger women running for Congress.
"Women aged 40 and younger are nearly absent from elected office and we need their voices to help shape policy and lead our country," the Political Action Committee's site says. "Their perspectives as working professionals, mothers, caretakers and community activists are critical to the political conversation."
To my under-40 mom-of-two-young-sons' ears that sounds good. Especially the two key words: "mothers" and "caretakers."
WUFPAC doesn't require its candidates to have young children. But under-40s are the people most personally sensitive--through their own brood or those of friends and contemporaries--to issues such as paid parental leave, incentives for telecommuting, protection of reproductive rights and subsidies for the exorbitant cost of child care.
The millions and millions of moms with young children in this country have a unique set of needs that--not surprisingly--are nowhere near the top of the nation's policy agenda.
You've got to blame that on:
Among the hundreds of caucuses in Congress--some revolving around issues as narrow as bourbon and the Value Added Tax--I could not find a single one for mothers or fathers.
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