As Mississippians prepare to spend this weekend honoring their mothers, the burden of providing for their families presents a big challenge for some working moms. MPB's Alexis Ware reports.
In Missisippi, 2/3 of people earning minimum wage are women, despite making up half of the workforce according to Mississippi Low Income Childcare Initiative. Bear Atwood is the president of the National Organization for Women of Mississippi. She says one problem is some people wrongly asses the reasons women work.
"It's discrimination. It's old fashioned attitudes that women are still earning a second salary for a family and the family's not dependent on it, and that's just no longer true today."
For many mothers, lack of access to childcare is a common hardship. Mississippi Women's Economic Security Initiative Director Cassandra Welchlin says for single mothers childcare can account for 19 percent of their spending. She contends increased access to safety net programs such as child care assistance and affordable health care would improve the lives of working mothers across the state.
Welchlin says women should be considered for jobs typically geared towards men.
"They really need to open it up to where women are being offered and introduced to other professions you know such as welder job such as construction and truck driving. Their income triples significantly when they are in those kinds of jobs."
In the recent legislative session, state leaders rejected a bipartisan push for equal pay for women.