Dozens of famous men support $2,400 monthly payments for mothers for ‘unpaid labor at home’
A group of 50 male politicians, actors and other prominent figures published an open letter this week backing a proposal that calls on the Biden administration to issue $2,400 monthly payments to mothers for “unpaid labor at home” during the pandemic.
The letter, published online and in a full-page ad in The Washington Post on Thursday, is signed by dozens of prominent men, including actors Colin Farrell and Don Cheadle; NBA star Steph Curry; former NFL player Victor Cruz; Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian; and New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang (D).
During his 2020 presidential bid, one of the pillars of Yang’s campaign was a universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 per month per American adult.
The letter follows a similar one signed by 50 prominent women in The New York Times last month calling for a “Marshall Plan for Moms.” The signers of the original letter include actors Charlize Theron, Gabrielle Union, Julianne Moore and Eva Longoria as well as prominent female business owners, entrepreneurs and activists.
The proposal, developed by Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani, calls on the federal government to implement a short-term monthly payment to moms and pass “long overdue policies like paid family leave, affordable childcare, and pay equity.”
In the letter published in the Post, the men write, “When more than 30 years of progress for women in the workforce can be erased in 9 months, the underlying system is broken. It’s time to create a new structure that works for women, that respects and values their labor.”
“Men have a role to play,” they add.
The men acknowledge that as “partners and fathers we need to start doing our share at home. Studies show we are failing,” and that “as the majority of employers we also need to create more protections and flexibility for working moms, and to put an end to the ‘motherhood penalty’ that punishes them for exercising it.”
“President Biden and Vice President Harris have called the crisis affecting moms a ‘national emergency.’ We agree,” they continue. “For that we need Congress to pass a national solution: a Marshall Plan for Moms.”
They conclude, “Women have been fighting for equality for centuries. Now is the time to finish that fight and rebuild our economy to finally value women’s work.”
The letter comes as mothers have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, suffering job losses as many were forced to become full-time caretakers for their children when lockdown safety measures closed schools.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women ended 2020 with 5.4 million fewer jobs than they had in February of last year, before the pandemic hit the country. Meanwhile, men lost about 4.4 million jobs over the same period.