MotherWork Series

Mother-Work: Women, Child Welfare and the State


“[ Molly Ladd-Taylor] argues that mother-work, ‘women’s unpaid work of reproduction and caregiving motivated women’s public activism and “maternalist” ideology.’ Ladd-Taylor emphasizes the connection between mother-work and social welfare politics by showing that their mothering experiences led women to become active in the development of public health, education, and welfare services.  In turn, the advent of these services altered mothering in many ways, including reduction of the infant mortality rate.”


Mother and Child 1912 Oil on Canvass Pablo Picasso

“I begin with the premise that women’s unpaid reproductive labor in both it’s private and public forms has been central to the development of the American political and economic system…I hope to shed light on the intersection of private life and public policy.”~ Ladd-Taylor



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