Vice President, and democratic presidential candidate, Al Gore announced on Tuesday his opposition to unfair treatment of women in the Social Security system.
Gore announced that he would eliminate the “motherhood penalty” by providing women or men who stay at home to care for their children up to five years in credit in retirement earnings, with an estimated increase of $600 annually.
In addition, Gore pledged to strengthen benefits for widows. Currently, widows can have their combined benefits cut in half upon the death of their husband. Gore proposed to increase the widow’s benefit to three-quarters of the combined benefits.
Both of these proposals are in accordance with the Social Security Taskforce of the National Council of Women’s Organizations’ recommendations. The Taskforce is chaired by economist Dr. Heidi Hartmann of the Institute for Women’s Policy and Research. The Feminist Majority Foundation’s president, Eleanor Smeal, and research director, Jennifer Jackman, are members of the Taskforce.
The Social Security Taskforce calls the “motherhood penalty” proposal a family service credit. Feminist Expo 2000, which took place March 31 – April 2, 2000 emphasized the need for a family service credit or ‘care credits’ – in both our Social Security system and our taxation system.