It’s Women’s Equality Day—this is why our vote matters more than ever before

The United States ranks 53rd on the Global Gender Gap Index—and 86th when you break it down by political empowerment.

women's equality day voting matters
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Today marks Women's Equality Day, and while there is so much to celebrate in terms of how far we've come we cannot deny that no country in the world is on track to eliminate gender inequality by 2030, a goal outlined by the United Nations member countries back in 2015.

Five years later, we find ourselves in a strange place in history. The United States has just celebrated the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave (some) women the right to vote and President Trump recently pardoned Susan B. Anthony, but on the second night of the Republican National Committee Convention, many social media users were talking about one RNC's speaker's idea to undo a century of (slow and sometimes painful) progress and get women out of the polls.


When activist Abby Johnson took the stage during the RNC, her support for "head of household" voting took the stage on social media.

Back in May, Johnson tweeted: "I would support bringing back household voting," which, as The 19th* explains would "would permit only the head of a household—and not all household members who are citizens over 18 years of age—to cast a ballot. Johnson believes the male member of the household would be the de facto decision maker."

As her RNC speech aired on Tuesday, Johnson was defending head of household voting on social media, tweeting that she would "never try to prevent women from voting" but that she would prefer a system where a husband, as the head of the home, would cast the vote for his wife and family (a system that ignore the fact that there are plenty of households and marriages that don't have husbands in them, or have two).

As Johnson's comments stoked controversy President Trump's campaign explained that he "supports the sacred principle of one person, one vote" but the conversation about "head of household" voting shows just how important talking about women's equality is now in 2020.

The United States ranks 53rd on the Global Gender Gap Index—and 86th when you break it down by political empowerment.

In Washington, at home and in the workplace, American women are still not treated equally. Women are doing more unpaid labor and seeing smaller paychecks.

According to the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) analysis of U.S. Census data, mothers only make about $0.71 to a dad's $1 (that's even worse than the wage gap between women and men, by as much as $0.10).

Women are hurt by inequality, but so are men. Fathers report that they desperately want more time with their children but feel they can't take time off because they feel so much pressure to be a good breadwinner.

As Motherly has previously reported, "Gender inequality can breed resentment in heterosexual marriages. Some fathers feel resentment because they get little or no parental leave after becoming dads, and mothers can grow resentful if they are shouldering all the household responsibilities and sacrificing their careers."

In the 2020 election, women's votes will matter

Abby Johnson's RNC appearance got a lot of people talking about "head of household" voting, but that's not really a threat. Women voters have outnumbered men in every presidential election since 1984 and they're not going anywhere.

The threat (to both Presidential candidates, at least) are these women and how they feel about living in a country where they don't get equal pay or access to resources that would level the playing field, like paid family leave. Americans don't live in Johnson's fantasy world where wives have to agree with their husbands vote—but we do live in a reality where women voters are plenty mad and ready to exercise their hard-fought right to the ballot.

But according to Howard University political science professor Dr. Keesha Middlemass, it's a mistake to view women as a monolith block of voters.

"Women want policies: 'how are you going to make my life better?' well, that requires policy," Dr. Middlemass told Scripps' reporter. Maya Rodriguez. "But that whole idea of gender politics is going to be very evident in getting out the vote."

As other countries have demonstrated, policy is how you get closer to equality.

According to the World Economic Forum's 2020 Global Gender Gap Report it's going to take 100 more years to achieve gender parity, something UN countries signed on to do in 10.

It may take 100 years, but women in the United States are not going to give up fighting for equality, and they're not going to give up the vote, either.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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