MamaBlogger365 – The Value of a Woman on International Women’s Day by Joy Rose

The Museum of Motherhood is working with the International Justice Mission (www.ijm.org) to raise awareness against human trafficking.

Today is International Women’s Day. A time for girls, women and mothers — and of course, the people who love them — to come together and raise awareness about the issues we face. One of the nearest and dearest to my heart is a mother’s value. In purely economic terms, in North America, the job of mother has been calculated to have around a $115,000 annual salary, give or take, yet still, real pay for real labor equals zero, while worldwide statistics note that approximately 1 women around the world dies every 90 seconds from maternity related causes.

Last week at the United Nations’ 56th Annual Commission On The Status of Women, I heard reports from all over the world, about women farmers fighting to own a piece of the agricultural pie where female ownership falls well under 10%, and rural African mothers and girls working to close educational gaps as they struggled for the basics of physical safety and water.

Today we’ll gather, on the Internet and in person, to celebrate International Women’s Day. Let this be a time for hope, activism and personal empowerment. Since 82% of the female population will go on to have children, a day like this must also mark the value and importance of mothers and the work they do.
Exhibits like Alexia Nye Jackson’s Mother The Job demonstrate through mixed media images, film, art and statistical comparisons, that the job of mother is the great unpaid labor force of a capitalist society. We need to actively evaluate the hidden costs of parenting, and ask questions like: how do we, as a nation, provide health care, maternity leave, paid parental leave, breast feeding and childcare at the workplace? Where is economic reward for working mothers, returning to the workforce, after time spent away raising children? And is there support for some of the more difficult psychosocial ramifications of motherhood?
Promoting the health, well-being, information, education and connection for individuals and collectives around the area of mother studies and family benefits everyone. To that end, ongoing groups, researchers, activists, artists, thought-leaders, social change-makers and women in business have been gathering at the newly opened Museum Of Motherhood (M.O.M.) in New York City — the first and only facility of it’s kind, dedicated to exploring, collecting and disseminating information and education about women, mothers and families.
On Monday, I asked our Day Of Maternal Activism participants to create signs for some of the issues they cared about. Here we are, being everyday activists! I encourage everyone to reflect on how they’d like to see change happen in their lives and then ‘be the change you want to see in the world’.
Please see our ongoing fundraising efforts with the International Justice Mission here.

And, to read this article in full, go to MomsRising.org.

Joy Rose

Founder and Executive Director

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