Let me start out by sharing a little secret about my job: One of the best things about bringing forward the voices of women, and moms in particular, is that it gives you the power to open the door of almost any elected official’s office (I mean, really: who says they’re anti-mom?).
Moms also have the power to swing elections. In 2008, women supported Barack Obama’s campaign by a 13-point margin. In 2010, women voted Republican by a narrow margin, helping elect a GOP-controlled House. And today, with Obama and Romney polling within the margin of error, women may very well decide the election.
We’ll need every ounce of this power, because we have a lot of work to do. Unfortunately, it’s tough to be a mom in the U.S..
Eight in ten American women will become mothers by the time they’re 44 years old. Just over 70% of the mothers are also in the workforce. Child care costs more than college in most states, few moms have access to paid sick days or maternity leave and on top of all this, women (especially moms) still don’t receive equal pay for equal work.
So how do we start reaching out and engaging moms (some of the busiest people on the planet)? Online. 2012 is the year of the networked mom. Women are now networked together in ways unimaginable just a decade ago. By the end of this year, more than 90% of moms with kids under age eighteen in our nation are expected to be online. And, more than 36 million women are now active in the blogosphere, either publishing or reading blogs. More and more, these moms access the internet through mobile devices. More than a quarter of our MomsRising.org traffic comes from mobile devices, and that number keeps growing.
At this year’s Web of Change, I’ll be co-leading a session to explore how mobilizing and engaging women and Networked Moms in particular can change elections and public policy.