The Prowler

Ivanka’s Child Care Embodies White Feminism

Noam Haykeen, Student Writer

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The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of The Prowler.

Single mothers of color face the greatest economic challenges in the country. The U.S. Department of Labor reported that in 2015, nearly 38 percent of single mothers of color lived in poverty. This number is exceptionally above the national average poverty rate of 13.5 percent, proof that single mothers of color live a strenuous lifestyle.

Making matters worse, single mothers of color need to afford child care, which often costs more than in-state college tuitions. And Ivanka Trump’s child care proposal does not help this predicament. According to an impartial study by Tax Policy Center, Ivanka’s plan would aid the wealthy. Families making more than $100,000 annually would receive 70 percent of the benefits, and 25 percent would go to households with an income of $200,000 or more.

On the contrary, if Ivanka’s proposal passes, those making less than $40,000 would only receive a $20 increase to their salary. This plan would simply not be enough to assure all can afford the average costs of day care. According to the think tank New America, parents spend an average of $9,589 on child care each year.

A 2015 report by Economic Policy Institute proclaims that the median hourly income for a black-single mother is $15.10 and $14.32 for single-Hispanic mothers. With such wages, paying upward of $9,500 yearly is improbable. The numbers simply do not add up when taking other expenses into consideration.

Ivanka’s proposal typifies white feminism. It focuses primarily on the struggles of white women, while failing to recognize the hardships that women of color undergo. Additionally, Ivanka fails to acknowledge intersectionality, which is the basis for the new wave of feminism. She does not comprehend that we are all composed of multiple identities. Thus, it is significant to walk in the shoes of those who are struggling economically. Her plan throws hard-working, lower-class, non-white single mothers down a ditch.

Educare, a nationwide plan in Sweden, subsidizes child care for all children of working parents from the age of 1. This program is inclusive. It does not discriminate against certain groups of people. And it gives families, primarily ones with single mothers, relief.

Sweden is not the only country to have such a program. Nordic and European countries are also known for subsidizing child care. Yet, as Ivanka’s plan shows, she does not believe people in need should be aided when it comes to child care. Her plan would provide a helping hand for people who need it least.

At her 2016 RNC speech, Ivanka made herself out to be a champion for women. She promised to fight for all women, not just the wealthiest. And therefore, Ivanka should abandon her current child care proposal. She should look at Sweden’s program as a model.

The time is overdue for America to provide universal child care. Mothers should not have to decide between working and taking care of their children. And single mothers, especially of color, should not have to struggle to obtain proper care for their loved ones.

Ivanka’s plan is simply not the right one. If it passes, Congress will be unlikely to improve the system later.

Both Republicans and Democrats should come together in a bipartisan fashion to construct new child care legislation. Creating a program that truly makes a difference is critical for millions of mothers across this country.

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Ivanka’s Child Care Embodies White Feminism