To Top

Women In Politics Report Childcare Is Still A Major Hurdle

In the aftermath of President Trump’s election, women flooded the political circuit, prompting an unprecedented number of women running for office in 2018. In all, 589 women ran in the primaries, and 116 women were elected in the House and Senate. Experts anticipate a similarly ground-breaking group of women to run for office in 2020, but women largely report that one thing is holding them back: childcare.

Only six states have legislation allowing campaign money to be used for childcare. In most states, there are no regulations regarding how politicians can pay for and manage childcare, leaving it up to interpretation by local agencies or boards. This means that whether or not a woman will be able to use her political donations to receive childcare is inconsistent across the country. This gives a huge advantage to their male counterparts.

Kimberly Dudik saw the impacts of this firsthand when she ran for her fourth term in the Montana House. State officials barred her from using campaign money to pay for childcare for her four young children.

“It just seems behind the times,” said Dudik, “When it was a man campaigning, the woman was traditionally the one to stay home and take care of the children. There is not someone home just taking care of the kids.”

Luckily, Dudik was able to pay for childcare out of pocket and continue running for office. However, not everyone is that lucky. Amber McReynolds, a politician and single mom from Denver, was considering a bid for a state-wide position in 2017. However, the cost of childcare prohibited her from starting a campaign. Single moms are especially underrepresented in political offices.

In states where there is legislation for childcare and support for single mothers, women have had the chance to make real strides. When Luz Escamilla campaigned to become the first Latina mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah’s gender-neutral child care expense law allowed her to earn a spot in the general election. Escamilla had to take time off from her full-time banking job to campaign, and money was so tight that she would not have been able to continue if not for the $1,500 in campaign money she used for childcare.

In order for this country to become truly representative of its population, we need more legislation that helps working-class women get involved in politics on a federal level. That way, state institutions won’t be in control of who can run for office and who can’t.

Featured Image by Nikolay Gromin on Flickr

Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Be Informed

  • Naomi Osaka Advocates for Racial Justice

    Learn about how star tennis player, Naomi Osaka, shows her social activism and support to racial justice on the court.

    Lydia SchapiroSeptember 16, 2020
  • Sustainability at Home

    Cultivating sustainability in the home is easier than you think! Learn about the easy ways to make your home more eco-friendly....

    Lydia SchapiroAugust 27, 2020
  • How Will College Change in the Fall?

    Keep reading to learn about the question marks surrounding the coming semester.

    Lydia SchapiroAugust 26, 2020
  • Egypt Making Strides Toward Equality

    Egypt took a step further in the direction of women’s rights a few days ago, approving a law that would protect...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 21, 2020
  • Black Mothers: The Risk of Giving Birth

    Serena Williams was not the first black woman to be ignored by her doctor post-partum. Black mothers consistently balance the joy...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 14, 2020
  • No More Bumps: 5 Steps to Smooth Skin

    Ladies, it’s hard to feel nice and smooth after shaving when ingrown hairs and bumps immediately take the spotlight. However, not...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 13, 2020
  • Healthy Social Media Use

    Social media presence has increased for decades, remaining incredibly prevalent in everyday life. Cultivate healthy habits by learning about the effects...

    Lydia SchapiroAugust 12, 2020
  • No Woman was Surprised by What Happened to AOC

    A few weeks ago, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was insulted by Representative Ted Yoho being called a “f—ing bitch” and “dangerous.” Afterwards,...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 12, 2020
  • The Meaning Behind #ChallengeAccepted

    Recently, a trend has surfaced on Instagram where women nominate one another privately to post a black and white picture of...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 11, 2020
  • Why Anti-feminism can be Fatal

    Recently, New Jersey Federal Judge Esther Salas and her family were attacked resulting in the loss of her son and injury...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 7, 2020