Celebrating International Women’s Day and the Pursuit of Equality in New Hampshire

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the remarkable achievements of women across the globe, as well as those closer to home. The women of Marguerite’s Place – resident and childcare moms, staff, volunteers, board members, supporters, and more – all contribute to the strength, vibrancy, and prosperity of our community. Not just today, but every day, we recognize those contributions and strive to amplify the voices of women in our corner of the world.

International Women’s Day also asks us to take stock of where we stand in terms of achieving gender equality. Although progress has been made in our state, challenges and disparities remain, some of them significant and persistent.

What is International Women's Day?

International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on March 8th, celebrates the achievements of women and promotes gender equality. Advocates and organizations highlight women’s contributions to society and address the challenges they still face. This year’s theme, “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress” highlights the fact that advocating for gender equality and women’s overall well-being is integral to ensuring a prosperous economy and healthy planet

Although progress has been made in recent years, significant disparities persist for women in New Hampshire, particularly in terms of the wage gap and overall equality. Despite making up nearly half of the population of New Hampshire, for every man’s dollar, women earn only 76 cents. It’s also important to note that “women experience additional disparities in wages based on race/ethnicity, age, and motherhood status, also known as ‘motherhood wage penalty.'”

The Wage Gap and Gender Inequality in NH

Despite the national wage gap between men and women closing a bit since the inception of  Marguerite’s Place in 1994, the state of New Hampshire continues to lag behind the national average, only improving by 4 cents in the last 30 years!

Additionally, women in New Hampshire are vastly underrepresented in leadership positions in both the public and private sectors. This disparity exacerbates inequality and limits access to decision-making, which is particularly important in the only New England state without standard paid family, medical, or sick leave, hindering support for women who may require flexible work schedules to remain employed.

When childcare costs in New Hampshire are among the highest in the nation, with single mothers spending 55% of their income on childcare expenses, this financial burden often forces mothers to choose between work and caregiving responsibilities. This dilemma also hinders career advancement opportunities, perpetuating the cycle of economic insecurity for women and their families.

Our Commitment to Empowering Women

At Marguerite’s Place, honoring women means celebrating the remarkable and inspiring journeys of the families here. Since our founding 30 years ago, countless mothers have embarked on new careers, helped their children reach developmental milestones, and moved on to their forever homes.

Let their stories of resilience and determination inspire us all to keep working toward a New Hampshire where women can thrive and gender is truly equal.

Happy International Women’s Day from all of us at MP!

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