Entries by Christina Ewig

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Childcare and the 99%

Receiving a newborn is a major life event. It involves tough decisions about who will be available to care for the baby, work-shifts after sleepless nights, and unexpected runs to the doctor to tend fevers. While newborns turn parents’ lives upside down with joys and stresses, it is the lack of affordable and universal childcare that transforms these life changes into major increases in inequality. My ongoing research shows that the cost of childcare is an underappreciated mechanism of class inequality, with implications for both gender and racial inequality as well.

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Revisiting and Fulfilling the Feminist Promise of Universal Day Care

American, second-wave feminism immediately brings to mind fights over abortion, violence against women, and sexual objectification (notably, the protests at the 1968 Miss America pageant in Atlantic City). Much less frequently remembered is that early liberal and radical feminists — many of whom were involved in starting the National Organization of Women (NOW) — saw the provision of affordable and high-quality universal day care as a major sine qua non of “women’s liberation.” Why? And what happened to strip this vital issue out of politicians’ platforms and feminist cultural discourse (let alone feminist activism en masse)?

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Empowerment Is Not Enough

“Empower Women to Foster Freedom,” proclaimed Ivanka Trump as she rolled out the Trump administration’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), claiming it could bring about peace and prosperity. But, W-GDP is hardly innovative. It is a return to past thinking that ignored power relations between nations as well as between men and women.

The Economic Crisis Putting American Families at Risk

As our country braced for another threatened government shutdown last week, federal workers are more aware than ever that they must be prepared for swaths of time without a paycheck.  As was clear last month, a staggering number of workers cannot weather a period of missed pay, let alone plan for a time when they can no longer work because of unemployment or illness. And this says nothing of the dream of a well-deserved retirement. But it’s not just government employees who live on this edge. Cringe-inducing stories of working Americans losing their homes, choosing between food and medicine, working just to cover their debt payments, going to work sick because they can’t afford the risk of being fired, and spending hours transferring from bus line to bus line to get to a minimum wage job have been part of the American experience since (and well before) the 2008 financial crisis.