Eva Longoria and Charlize Theron call for mums to be paid for unseen labour during COVID-19: 'Motherhood is a job, not a luxury'

Picture: Instagram
Picture: Instagram 

Celebrities including Charlize Theron and Amy Schumer have called on Joe Biden to start paying mums for their extra efforts during the pandemic.

More than 50 public figures have signed an open letter to the president published in the New York Times, asking he prioritise this during his first 100 days in office. 

The letter suggests mothers should be paid a short term $2,400 (AU$3,096) stipend each month, similar to 'The Marshall Plan' that was implemented in Europe in 1948 offering post World War Two economic aid.

Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, who came up with the idea, also called for Biden to establish 'long overdue' policies such as paid parental leave, affordable childcare and pay equity. 

"Dear President Biden," the letter begins, "You know this well: Mum's are the bedrock of society. And we're tired of working for free.

"COVID has decimated so many of our careers. Two million of us have left the workforce at a rate of four times that of men in September alone.

"Millions more have been forced to cut back our hours or work around the clock to keep our jobs and be full-time caregivers."

Other celebrities who lent their support include Eva Longoria, Julianna Moore, Gabrielle Union and Alyssa Milano. 

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Describing the affect of COVID on women's working conditions as a 'national crisis', the letter also said motherhood was 'not a luxury' but a job and needed to be better valued. 

As Saujani told CNN, women had born the brunt of COVID and many mothers had little choice but to give up or reduce their working hours, saying the labour market for women was now what it was in the 1980s. 

"No woman made a choice to stay home and take care of our children during this crisis, that choice was made for us," she told the network. 

"No one said 'what's going to happen to mums'? It's not a choice. We are not America's safety net. And as many of us have been essentially replacing paid labour for unpaid labour and nobody asked us. They have put zero value on our labour. And it's time to put a value on it."