Ought Moms be specifically identified in the advancement of women and girls?


I have been pondering this question for a while. I would appreciate your feedback.

There are lots of efforts to improve opportunities for women and girls.

Do you as members believe there would be benefits if Mothers' needs were addressed in corporate and government policy as a significant but differentiated group in the mantra of advancement of women and girls.

I am suggesting that Moms be included as a category in women and girls. The mantra would transition from women and girls, to women, mothers, and girls.

My bias is, if we can start including mothers as a category we can start public and corporate discussion of the needs women who are also mothers experience, as they try to fully participate in income earning, emotional care, and education support. The calling out of mothers as a category could influence tax dollar spend on supportive priorities locally and nationally.

For women who become mothers, infrastructure, childcare, work hours, leave, sick days, take on a different meaning, as does the battle to put in enough hours to earn a promotion.

Somewhere in our systems I feel like this is a good enough time to translate the right to equal education we were granted in the past to equal right to economic return on our education after children arrive, through policies which support mothers.

Thank you for responding if you have time.


That's such an interesting discussion and I fully agree with the points you presented.On the flip side, what about the women who have decided to not have children, I fear that doing everything from the standpoint of mothers alienate them. And for those who want to be mothers but can't (talking about those who want their own children and do not necessarily want to adopt), is this not a reminder that they may never be able to achieve that goal? What do you think, Adrienne? I definitely want to hear everyone's opinions on this (mothers, soon to be mothers, women who have no interest in being mothers, want to be mothers but it's complicated for a variety of reasons)
Hi iynna, thank you for responding, I agree it would not be helpful if the focus shifted from women to mothers for all the complex reasons you identify above, I feel mother as an addition to "women and girls" might give us an opportunity to have conversations about the paths women walk.
THIS!Thank you for starting this conversation. I am not a mom and I am still on the fence if I want to be one (I for sure do not want to be a single mom, ie. if I end up single, then I am not going to fight to have kids) and I think I need to have a partner who can take on the role of a father (my dad is not perfect but he is pretty damn good so I have very high standards) So I am speaking from a completely different perspective and I am sure everyone will have interesting things to say!
Hi iynna, thank you for sharing your story. Mine is different however I relate to deep thought which goes into this choice. I was 37, VP of Supply Chain and Manufacturing for a $2billion tech company. When I was promoted to the C-Suite I noticed the other women in the room also didn’t have children, while the men all did. It kind of shook me, I had been married for 6 years and I was like no, I don’t want this, I don’t want this career if I miss out by accident on having children. I decided to take time out and decide what lifestyle I really wanted. It took a few more years, over that time I decided I didn’t want to be married if I didn’t have children, and for us the decision was to have children, it could as easily have gone the other way and end in separation. So, yes, every decision on this path is unique and every path is deserving of honor.
human beings in recent years, have acquired strong feelings about people categorization. this reminds me of the ask for labels on bathrooms that could include every single shade of skin color, sexual preferences, maybe we could add marital status or job role, as next. i'm publishing anonymously only because i know many will "hate me" for writing this (just as an ironic confirmation of the "strong feelings" I mentioned in my first sentence).
I hear you, individualism can turn into a need to have our specific selves identified in labels. Thank you for raising that perspective. Perhaps life is challenging and rewarding for each of us in different ways and we end up losing touch with what we hold in common.
also what about fathers?there's a lot to be said about the lack (total or partial) of support for parenthood by government regulations (and consequently by companies - even though companies could provide benefits independently of what is compulsory, we have government regulations to raise the bar for everyone but they're not doing it).but adding a term would not solve it for me. i would not even distinguish between girls and women.
+1 to all thisA thing that was clear to me when I became a parent (my husband worked for the same company at the time) was how lopsided paternal leave benefits hurt me and my career. For 10 weeks I stayed home with our newborn while he went to work because that was what our company allowed us to do, not necessarily what we might have done had we been able to work out that arrangement on our own. It forces women into caregiving roles and men into breadwinning roles.
Hi pattiereaves, yes! I think the impact on Moms is why I keep pondering this question. A more correct answer is policies supportive of parents, whatever the parenting group looks like. I believe parenting can be a developmental stage where we get to revisit our paradigms as children confront us with their pushback. It would be great to have support for fathers to fully engage in that social emotional growth and by association bring it back to the business and public policy world to ensure change supportive of the next generations ideas and ideals.
Hi iammyr, I do believe you have provided a pivot for this conversation and a shift in my thinking. As Moms are more impacted by lack of support than Dads I have viewed this as a woman issue. It isn’t it is a parenting support issue. Thank you.
Philosophically, I don't like that it qualifies women in relation to someone else, rather than in her own right. You see this a lot - daughter, mother, grandmother, etc.
I Briana, Thank you for raising this point. Lots of literature about Moms is about Mom in relation to child. I believe there is another side to being a Mom, which is my own experience of mothering, my relationship to myself. In particular I get irritated when I read about females defined by their “in relation to roles”, while I find males get more of “how does this impact your sense of self” I would like to read more about how does this relationship impact your sense of self for Moms.