By Cindia Cameron

In March we look forward – eagerly anticipating the arrival of spring; and we look to the past – celebrating National Women’s History Month. Looking back, we might ask what our pioneer activists in women’s rights would say about tough choices working women still make to keep their families afloat. Looking forward, we can celebrate Women’s History Month by taking action to pass the Healthy Families Act.

One inspiration for action is the story of a young mother named Tahirah who lives in Denver, CO. At 26, Tahirah found a dream job: crew leader in an airport restaurant. The wages were low and the hours long. Still, the job offered a chance to supervise and a clear path to the management track. But there were two wrinkles: her preschool-age daughter has asthma and this job did not provide any paid sick days.

Tahirah managed to keep her job and home from falling apart – for a while. But there were times when her daughter was sick and her manager would not allow her to leave work. There were also times when Tahirah left her daughter home sick because she simply couldn’t risk being fired. One day her daughter was rushed to the hospital. A friend called to tell Tahirah to meet them there. But her manager didn’t give her the message for hours. Eventually she was forced to leave that job. She’s found others, but still none that offer the paid sick days she needs.

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