BY SHARON MARTIN
The GOP is waging war on families.
Two partners raising children are healthier and more economically sound than single-parent households. Oklahoma legislators seek to make a marriage license harder to get.
The lower the wages, the more likely that both parents have to work. What happens to working parents when Congress takes away the child care credit to pay for tax cuts for wealthy donors?
It’s against the law for cities and counties in Oklahoma to raise the minimum wage. This puts the squeeze on low-wage breadwinners. The Republican-led Legislature is stingy with education funding. This hurts everyone.
The party in charge touts their family values. They also like to brag about their economic prowess. They are way off on both points.
A lot of ugly things have been said about Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, but she understood that women who could control the size of their families grew healthier families. She likened the large families of the poor to gardens in which the plants were packed too closely together.
How many laws have been passed in the last few years that stand between women and their family-planning decisions?
Muhammad Yunus saw how loan sharks in his country preyed on the poor. He worked to guarantee small loans to the poorest entrepreneurs. Local banking centers, run mostly by women, prospered despite lies and threats from government and religious leaders. Sound familiar?
These small business owners developed 16 principles to strengthen communities and families. We will grow vegetable gardens. We will eat from them year round and sell the surplus. We will look to our own health. We will keep the size of our families small. We will educate our children.
In 2006, Yunus and his Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. The committee wrote: “Economic growth and political democracy cannot achieve their full potential unless the female half of humanity participates on an equal footing with the male.”
Equality is a family value.
Politicians who legislate birth control and marriage don’t give a fig about democracy or freedom. Remember their names come election time. The polling booth is our first line of defense.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer