But the people we elect can make a huge difference in the lives of people who are trying to make time for both their families and their jobs. As much as I sometimes want to cover my ears until November, elections matter.
I've been disappointed to hear very little from the candidates about the needs of working families. People need jobs, it's true, but that doesn't mean that once someone's got a job, that person's life breezes along problem-free.
You can imagine that my ears perked up Tuesday night during the second presidential debate. Yay for equal pay! Yay for flexible working schedules!
So I'm happy, right? Not quite. I would have liked to hear more. Not just because yup, I'm a woman all right, but because I am concerned about women being treated fairly. I'm concerned about children living in poverty and about parents who feel stressed out about short-changing their kids. I worry about the aging population and how that will affect people's lives. I think a lot about disadvantaged children and what opportunities they will have as they grow up.
So here are some other words I would like to hear more about:
- flexible and/or part time work
- affordable, quality child care
- improving access to health care and child care for special needs kids
- early childhood education
- parental leave
- breastfeeding rights, especially at work
- child support for divorced parents
- elder care
- paid sick leave
- education programs for non-traditional students
- helping women and girls in foreign countries, especially with education
No, I don't believe the government can solve everything all at once. Nor do I believe an individual woman can fix all the injustices in her life alone. But I think these issues matter, and if we don't work toward solving them, our society will pay the price.
But who knows? We still have one debate left. Anything is possible.
Even talking about women and what matters to them.