The Table

Today, International Women’s Day (March 8), is a global day dedicated to celebrating women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements. On this day in 1857, hundreds of women in New York City’s garment and textile factories staged a strike in protest of long working hours, inadequate pay, poor working conditions, and the lack of the right to vote.  This event marked the first recorded organized action by working women anywhere in the world.  Again on March 8, 1908, roughly 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding economic justice.

Mommy For Pope

Tiny WOC activist, Aurora, spreading her message for women’s equality in the church (Thanks to her mom, former Board Co-President, Johanna Hatch, for the photo) #MommyForPope

In the same feminist spirit of International Women’s Day, the Women’s Ordination Conference affirmed a strong commitment to economic justice and updated employee policies to reflect our feminist values.  The WOC National Board of Directors met this past weekend for its annual winter meeting.  The board unanimously approved an updated employee policy manual, which includes the following feminist policies:

  • Flexible Work Hours
  • Lactation Friendly Workplace
  • Paid Family Leave for Full-Time Employees (up to 8 weeks)

It should be noted, WOC’s paid leave policy extends beyond traditional maternity leave to include partner support following childbirth, adoption, elder care, family emergencies, and other related medical circumstances.  

Research has shown paid family and medical leave produces significant positive benefits for working families, employers, and the economy. According to the U.S. Department of Labor:

  • “Paid maternity leave can increase female labor force participation by making it easier for women to stay in the workforce after giving birth, which contributes to economic growth. When parents are better supported at work through paid family and medical leave, they are also less likely to rely on public assistance benefits.”
  • “Paid leave leads to better outcomes for parents and children. Maternity leave improves child health outcomes, including increased birthweight, decreased premature births and decreased infant mortality. Paid leave encourages men to take paternity leave and serve as caregivers, which has a number of positive effects for families.”

The research also proves organizations offering paid leave have greater worker retention, less turnover, and save significant costs associated with replacing employees and training new staff.

Paid leave is at the center of national debate on worker’s rights.  As a member, donor, and employee of WOC, I am beaming with pride that our small but mighty organization is leading the way on the issue.  As a supporter of WOC, you already contribute to WOC’s feminist social justice values. I hope you, too, feel proud in our latest policy changes.  We’d love to hear your feedback. Please feel free to comment below or email me your comments directly at [email protected]. Happy International Women’s Day!  

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Like baby Aurora’s “Mommy for Pope” onesie in the photo above? You can purchase “Mommy for Pope” merchandise at our online store here: http://www.cafepress.com/ordainwomen