This is the fourth and final installation of my account of all the paid and unpaid work I did 3/8/17 since I decided not to strike.
I worked tonight at my paid job from 5pm-11:45pm. It was a very busy night. My job is mentally and emotionally taxing. I am home just after midnight and so exhausted. I’ll be up by 7:30am so my spouse can go to work and I will need to take care of my kids and get my daughter to preschool.
Finishing this up the following morning… I actually ended up helping my toddler back in bed and had some sweet (tired but sweet) snuggles and kisses before getting ready for bed and getting to sleep last night.
The point of these posts is that there’s a great deal of unpaid labor that women do that is unacknowledged and undervalued. Women spend more time on childcare and household chores than men. Then a great deal of the paid labor women do is undervalued and we are paid less for it than men are. Caregiving whether it’s for children, disabled or elderly people is a prime example of paid and unpaid labor that is undervalued. Teaching is a great example of the paid labor (highly skilled I’ll add) that is undervalued and underpaid. Jobs that are seen (or historically were seen) as women’s work are paid less and undervalued. These are just some of the reasons women went on strike yesterday. The fact is that many of us felt we are too vital in our families and jobs to strike. Many women couldn’t afford to strike due to lost wages or threat of losing their jobs. I think about a true day without a woman and it’s mind boggling what that would look like. It would grind society to a halt.
There is more work to be done to achieve equity. The pay differences are even more pronounced for women of color.
Just a few links if you’re interested in reading further about these issues:
How Society Pays When Women’s Work is Unpaid New York Times
American Association of University Women research article The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap which includes stats for women of color.
Thanks for reading, Kate