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Women and Girls and the President's Budget

February 16, 2011
From Your (Wo)manInWashington blog MOTHERS changing the conversation @ Valentine's Day ushers in the most unromantic topic of the federal budget this year, and President Obama's proposed spending plan has now been unveiled. Much wrangling and intense debate is surely in store, and it's anybody's guess what the final product will be. Your (Wo)Man in Washington flips straight to the summary of expenditures pertaining to women and girls to see what's on the presidential priority list for the current fiscal year. Here's a quick list of some high points for...
Valerie Young's picture

I showered every third day.

February 7, 2011
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I spent a fair amount of time daydreaming about what maternity leave would be like: Leisurely walks in the park, spending time gardening in the back yard while my baby slept peacefully in her bouncy seat, restful hours spent cuddling a smiling gurgling cooing baby. The reality was nowhere near that picturesque. My leave was a 12 week blur of sleep-deprived baby care. I maybe showered every third day, was lucky to get three hours of sleep in a row and considered it a red letter day if the dishwasher got unloaded. I did spend hours upon hours walking...
Ruth Martin's picture

On the FMLA Anniversary, Let’s Focus on the Unmet Needs of Working Families

February 5, 2011
Cross-posted at the National Partnership for Women & Families . 18 years. That’s how long the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been in place. It was the first bill President Clinton signed into law and it remains one of the proudest accomplishments of his presidency. The FMLA is the first national law designed to help working families meet the dual demands of work and family. Incredibly, as I write this today, it’s also the last. As we celebrate this anniversary and reflect on how far we have come, we must renew our commitment to ensuring all working families have basic job...

California Families Benefit from Paid Family Leave

February 3, 2011
The good news: Since California unions and community organizations helped pass Paid Family Leave legislation in 2002, over one million people have used the program, which provides up to six weeks of partial wage replacement for workers who take time off to bond with a new child or care for a seriously ill family member. A newly released report, Leaves That Pay: Employer and Worker Experiences with Paid Family Leave in California (Eileen Appelbaum & Ruth Milkman, 2011) shows that 91% of those who used the benefit said that it had a positive effect on their ability to care for a new baby,...
Jenya Cassidy's picture

Real Family Values

February 2, 2011
By Portia Wu, vice president of the National Partnership for Women & Families , and Megan Renner, executive director of the United States Breastfeeding Committee . Every year roughly four million women give birth in the United States, and most of them (more than three-quarters) start out breastfeeding. Study after study has affirmed the value of breastfeeding in protecting both mothers and children from a host of acute and chronic diseases and conditions, saving billions in health care costs. Breastfeeding mothers also report feeling more closely bonded with their babies—a factor which...

WI legislators may roll back state FMLA - help stop them!

February 2, 2011
Outrageous and unacceptable! As early as this week legislators in Madison are poised to strip benefits from the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WIFMLA) and turn back the clock to a less family-friendly time. This would mean that among other things, many part time workers would no longer be eligible for state FMLA benefits and caregivers would have less flexibility when it comes to using family medical leave. Send a message to your state elected officials: Don’t turn back the clock on family-friendly policies in Wisconsin. Don’t undermine the WI Family Medical Leave Act! Click here:...
Ruth Martin's picture

Who is in charge of your maternity care?

January 29, 2011
From Your (Wo)manInWashington blog MOTHERS changing the conversation @ Womens Enews reports that maternity wards and obstetric units are closing across the country. Depending on where you live, and whether or not you have health insurance, you could be far away from the medical care you need. The number of babies born in the US has remained stable, at just over 4 million a year. But 1.3 million women joined the number of uninsured between 2008 and 2009. Now 22% of all women of child-bearing age are uninsured. Medicaid covers 15% of them. But the Medicaid...
Valerie Young's picture

The Career Mystique: An Interview with family scholar Stephanie Coontz Dads and Balance

January 26, 2011
As mothers, we talk a lot about balance. It’s an elusive concept—that sort of stands for being tired and overwhelmed. But even that conversation is highly unbalanced. It’s not a full discussion, because we don’t talk about balance for fathers nearly as much. Don’t both parents deserve to find a comfortable spot on the continuum of personal and occupational fulfillment. “We have to rise up against the idea that balance is a woman’s issue, says Stephanie Coontz, it’s equally a men’s issue. Currently, men are reporting higher levels of work family conflict than women.” Few people know more about...
Amy Cross's picture

Let's answer this call!

January 21, 2011
Bravo, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin! Yesterday, the nation’s top doctor had the courage to say simply and starkly that mothers who breastfeed their babies need more support. In the “ Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding ,” the Surgeon General challenged all sectors of our society to support mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies. “Many barriers exist for mothers who want to breastfeed. They shouldn’t have to go it alone. Whether you’re a clinician, a family member, a friend, or an employer, you can play an important part in helping mothers who want to breastfeed.” -- Surgeon...
Ashley Boyd's picture

Flexible Scheduling Makes Dollars and Sense

January 14, 2011
This article originally appeared on New Deal 2.0 . Sunday's New York Times reported that accounting firms lead corporate America in offering workplace flexibility. Employees can reduce their hours, take the summer off, take off a few years and then return to their prior jobs... whatever they need. And the firms are committed to ensuring that flexible options don't hurt prospects for advancement. Why are the accounting firms out in front? For a simple reason: they do the numbers. It costs 1.5 times a worker's annual salary to replace a professional who leaves. So when workplace flexibility...
Joan C. Williams's picture