The online flower shop’s bouquets — which include The Unpaid Work Bouquet and The Lack of Childcare Bouquet — cost up to $800B, reflecting the true value of mothers' work and the true economic cost of adequately thanking them.
In honor of Mother’s Day (May 9) this year, the Marshall Plan for Moms (MPM), led by Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani — is launching the "’Moms Deserve More’ Flower Store" — an online flower shop highlighting the true value of mothers' work, and the true cost of adequately thanking them. The shop features bouquets priced according to data showing the unpaid work and broken policies impacting moms around the world — because, as MPM points out:
“Working for free to save the economy’s a$$ from disaster should earn women a little something extra this year.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has been disproportionately devastating for mothers, and especially mothers of color. According to the National Women's Law Center, 2.3 million women left the workforce in the last year, putting the women's labor force participation rate at 57 percent — the lowest it's been since 1988. That's 30 years of progress for women, erased in a matter of months.
So, what better time than Mother’s Day to shine a light on just how hard many moms work, and the deeply embedded systems and policies that continue to undervalue them?
"A dozen roses are not going to cut it this year," Saujani says. "The pandemic has intensified what was already a national crisis for working moms, and especially for moms of color. This year, we have to repair the broken structure of motherhood in America. Because what moms really need is a national reckoning — one that reimagines our culture and rebuilds a system to actually value our work."
Unlike your typical flower shop, the prices of the bouquets spotlight the various ways in which our national policies and COVID-relief efforts are failing to adequately support mothers. The $800 billion Unpaid Work Bouquet is based on new Oxfam data showing that women around the world lost $800 billion in income last year, as they lost jobs or left the workforce to care for family.
Other bouquets in the Moms Deserve More store include:
The Lack of Childcare Bouquet: $13,000
The Lost Job Bouquet: $36,000
The Pay Gap Bouquet: $15,000
The Paid Leave Bouquet: $9,500
The Mental Stress Bouquet: $3,500
"We need systemic changes to our policies that compensate moms for their work," Saujani said. "If nobody can afford the cost of these bouquets, let's ask ourselves why we are continuing to ask women to pay that price."
According to the site, Marshall Plan for Moms isn’t expecting most people to literally fork over thousands of dollars for these bouquets; the organization accepts donations of any size and will put funds raised toward furthering the organization’s agenda — which includes advocating for public and private sector policies to support all moms, such as paid family leave, affordable childcare, equal pay protection for women, job retraining and compensation for moms forced to give up paying jobs to do unpaid caregiving work.
"Child care should be universally accessible and affordable to all families, and child care workers must be able to earn living wages and be treated with dignity and respect, said Ai-jen Poo, co-founder and Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. "For far too long, those in power have devalued caregiving and allowed for women, especially women of color, to be forced out of the workforce and care workers to be underpaid. Parents and care workers are doing the crucial and challenging work of nurturing the potential of future generations. As a nation, if we're to realize our potential, they must be supported by our public policy, our systems and a culture that values care."
Along with Ai-jen Poo, the ‘Moms Deserve More’ Flower Store is supported by well-known moms and advocates including comedian Amy Schumer; New York Congresswoman Grace Meng; Mara Bolis, Associate Director of Women's Economic Empowerment at Oxfam America; and organizations including the National Women's Law Center, Paid Leave for All, PL+US, and Scary Mommy.
In January, 50 prominent women ran a full page ad in The New York Times, calling on the Biden Administration to create a task force dedicated to implementing a "Marshall Plan for Moms" — that is, paying mothers for their unpaid, unseen labor; and passing policies adequately addressing parental leave, affordable childcare and pay equity. Following the NYT ad, Congresswoman Meng introduced the Marshall Plan for Moms (H.Res.121) — a transformative piece of legislation to help women return to the workforce; and, for the first time, offer much-needed assistance to mothers who have been severely impacted by the pandemic. The MPM was then introduced in the Senate by US Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). In February, 50 prominent male allies — including Steph Curry, Don Cheadle, Colin Farrell and others — signed a letter in the Washington Post calling on Congress to support the MPM.
"This is a unique Mother's Day message — still a celebration of Moms, but with a more focused point of view of the actual cost of motherhood," and Amy Frisch, Managing Director and Head of Client Services at SS+K, the agency that managed the visual identity, website and creative launch of the campaign, said. "It's about time we acknowledged the financial expense associated with motherhood. This project was personal. I'm a mom, and I worked alongside a team of other SS+K moms. Collaborating with Reshma, we knew we could create a campaign that could make an impact in forcing this long overdue conversation."