As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we are reminded of what motivated us to establish A Better Balance over a decade and a half ago: caring for children, loved ones, and family who are sick or disabled—work largely done by women—is deeply undervalued in the U.S. and we need stronger laws and policies, and enforcement of rights, to improve the lives of women and families nationwide.
Today, we are delighted to share that A Better Balance Co-Founders and Co-Presidents Dina Bakst and Sherry Leiwant have been named winners of The Visionary Prize for Women’s Economic Empowerment in recognition of our work advancing justice for working women. In celebration of International Women’s Day, Visionary Women’s virtual summit announcing the award will be available to stream today from 11 AM EST to 11 PM EST. We are extremely grateful to the Visionary Women team for this honor.
Since our founding, we have fought tirelessly to advance the structural solutions urgently needed by working women, and particularly women of color, including paid sick time (as we discussed in our recent report, “Sick Without a Safety Net“,) paid family leave, and protections for pregnant and postpartum workers. In another new report, “Centering the Experience of Black Mamas in the Workplace,” we highlighted with co-authors Black Mamas Matter Alliance how working Black mothers urgently need policies like the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to ensure they can protect their health and the health of their babies while remaining attached to the workforce.
And enforcement remains a critical strategy to ensure workers, especially those most vulnerable to inequity in the workplace, can exercise the rights we work so hard to pass into law. As Vice recently covered, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other members of Congress sent a letter to federal enforcing agencies to demand an investigation into Amazon’s attendance policy citing A Better Balance’s legal concerns with the policy. We are dedicated to holding corporations like Amazon accountable for abusive attendance policies that disproportionately harm working women with caregiving needs.
Today’s holiday originated to recognize and celebrate the contributions of working women worldwide. Here in the U.S., the fight for women’s equality is inseparable from the fight for broader workplace protections, and it will continue until our laws reflect the value of the important work of providing care.