Pulitzer-winning columnist Ellen Goodman delivered the Keynote at UK’s Conference on Economic and Political Inequality Thursday.
One of the first American women too openly discuss women’s rights, she focused her speech on caregiving to children and the elderly. Goodman characterizes the burden placed on individuals caring for children and the elderly as something neglected by the movement.
“Women who were the caregivers before the women’s movement still do most of the caregiving afterward. We’ve kind of had a lopsided change, where certainly more women are still taking care of children and elders, and the society hasn’t really accommodated to that," she said.
Goodman advocated for reforms such as more opportunities for childcare and paid sick leave. She also emphasized that the issue is intergenerational , having a strong effect on new families.
"Very often one young parent drops out of the workforce, not because they want to, but because the cost of childcare overwhelms whatever income they might have, and so once you’ve dropped out, it’s hard to get back in, and also, your lifetime earnings take a hit.”
Goodman’s speech was part of the conference’s greater focus on inequality. Additional lectures and events will take place in UK’s Worsham theater today from 9:00 to 4:30.