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Today [March 8], marks International Women’s Day, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, as well as the continued push for gender parity.

Gender parity is the essence of Californian family child care providers’ fight to form a strong union and collective bargaining. Because it is through a union that women who are mistreated by low pay and long hours can close the gender gap and gain a voice in decisions that affect our lives.

We know that even in progressive California, women are paid 86 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to an annual wage gap of $7,227. For women in low-wage professions, such as early childhood education, and women of color, who fill the ranks of child care, the gap is even greater.

Closing the gap for family child care providers isn’t complicated and we have long known the answer: the right to collective bargaining. As the International Women’s Day campaign website says success comes with: “collective action and shared responsibility for driving gender parity.”

That’s why on this International Women’s Day we need all our sisters and brothers to stand with us, celebrate the achievements of family child care providers in shaping the next generation of leaders and push state lawmakers to take action against the economic gaps happening under their watch.

“Child care professionals are professional working women. We need policymakers and the public to recognize that. A strong union and collective bargaining is the way. It’s just that simple,” said Sue Carrera, a child care provider and business owner of 9 years in Inglewood.

Ask your family, friends and representatives to honor you and International Women’s Day today by supporting California family child care providers right to collectively bargain with the State of California. 

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