Mothers push for basic income during pandemic: “A moment of rage”

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With many schools and day cares closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, more than 12 million women have lost a job — and just over 2 million have left the workforce altogether

“We, in nine months, lost 30 years of progress,” said Reshma Saujani, the founder of the nonprofit “Girls Who Code” and a mother of two. “Think about that.” 

“The reality is, is we are in a moment of rage,” Saujani said. “Every mother I know has just had it.” 

Saujani thinks the solution is a basic income for mothers. She calls it “The Marshall Plan for Moms,” a reference to the program that helped rebuild Europe after World War II. 

“The Marshall Plan is what we think of when we want to build something from the bottom up, when we want to be bold,” she said.

The plan calls for a short-term monthly stipend for moms who need it, along with paid family leave, affordable childcare and pay equity. The plan has been endorsed by dozens of celebrities and business leaders — and now, activists have set their sights on the Biden administration. 

But not everyone thinks paying mothers is a good idea. Betsey Stevenson, a member of former President Obama’s economic team, told CBS News that “Paying people to stay home is really encouraging something that could end up ultimately undermining the goals of having more equality in the home and having more equality in the workforce.” 

When asked if paying mothers who are home would discourage them from entering the workplace, Saujani said, “Absolutely not. It simply values their labor.” 

“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to fix things for the better once and for all,” she added. 


Read more from our CBS News series “Women and the Pandemic” below:

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