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Direct-Care Workers Must Be Better Supported, Iowa Editorial Argues

August 23, 2012

An editorial published in several Iowa newspapers argues that the predominantly female direct-care workforce is systematically undervalued and deserves more support.

Written by Charlotte Nelson, the former director of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women, the editorial highlights the many challenges facing direct-care workers, both on and off the job.

Direct-care work is “physically and emotionally demanding,” Nelson writes. Despite that, she notes, most workers are paid poorly, and benefits such as health insurance and paid sick leave are rare.

“Because the workforce is predominately female, the job often gets labeled as ‘women’s work,'” Nelson continues. “The label implies that the work is not ‘real’ work, or is not work of consequence.

“Changing the way we think about and treat the direct care workforce is not just the right thing to do, it is the critically necessary thing to do,” she concludes.

– by Matthew Ozga

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