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What Should Society Do For Parents?

August 10, 2010
From Your (Wo)manInWashington blog MOTHERS changing the conversation @ www.MothersOughtToHaveEqualRights.org Let's face facts: raising children costs money, and lots of it. Parenthood has economic consequences, and they extend far beyond the family home. If women decide having children is too perilous an undertaking, and fewer children are born, our nation will suffer. Public policy, or how the laws of the land hinder or help parents and families fulfill their function, impact us in very direct and personal ways. This recent Washington Post column is sure to get you thinking about how...
Valerie Young's picture

Sorry I Missed Your Anniversary! Thanks for Keeping Families Afloat.

August 4, 2010
This July marked the sixth anniversary of the nation's first state law that provides comprehensive paid family leave. Passed in 2002 and in effect since July 2004, California's paid family leave insurance program provides most workers with six weeks a year of partial pay (55% of wages up to a weekly max -- $987 per week in 2010) during unpaid time off from work to care for a newborn, new adopted or foster child, or seriously ill parent, child, spouse, or domestic partner. Is family leave just a frill? Hardly. In a recession, having it makes a significant economic difference for families --...
Joan C. Williams's picture

Screw Work Life Balance: We Need Work Life Policy! Join the Movement at BlogHer

August 2, 2010
For over two years, The Four Hour Work Week has been a national bestseller. Why? Because most of us resent feeling tethered to our jobs, and we know we could still do great work even if we had the ability to control our schedules and factor family needs into our day. But workers are completely on their own to figure it out. Out of 168 nations , 163 have some form of paid maternity leave, leaving the United States in the company of Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland. Nice. We are grown ups who have home and work demands; what's wrong here? At the BlogHer Conference in NYC on August 7 at 1...

The White House Talks, Is Congress Listening?

July 28, 2010
This year the White House, in cooperation with the Council on Women and Girls, hosted a conference on Workplace Flexibility. The conference came on the heels of a report by the Council of Economic Advisors on the benefits to employers of offering paid leave and flextime, official guidance on caregiving discrimination by the EEOC, and – perhaps most importantly – a $50 million line item in the FY2011 Department of Labor budget to create a State Paid Leave Fund to provide grants to states to establish paid leave programs. Advocates celebrated. And then we waited for Congress to act. We’re still...

Paid Leave Makes Horse Sense

July 28, 2010
Vacations are good for your health . And, you don’t need to get away to any fancy Caribbean retreat to get the benefit of time-off from work. But it helps if you are a horse. In New York City, that is. The City’s Health Department has proposed new rules for those horses hitched to carriages that carry tourists around parts of town. If implemented, the horses would get 5 weeks of job-protected vacation . During their time off, the horses would continue to enjoy their standard payment – room and board, along with grooming. It is a reasonable business decision to invest in these workers since...
Jodie Levin-Epstein's picture

Work-life balance: Finding the Swede spot

July 27, 2010
A quiet revolution has been taking place in Sweden for 15 years, affecting everything from the gender pay gap to workplace culture to relationships between parents and children. It all started at home. Here’s a link to the fascinating New York Times story about this phenomenon. Now here’s my distilled version—with original illustrations! This Swedish family* doesn’t look very happy. That’s because for decades Sweden has had the same problems we have in the U.S., with men and women seemingly confined to traditional roles when it came to working and raising kids. Although the country had paid...
Katrina Alcorn's picture

Dutch Study Pumps Breastfeeding, Support Still Lacking

July 21, 2010
I write, occasionally, about breastfeeding and bottlefeeding. I try, when I do, to present a balanced approach. It is challenging at times - to reconcile the choices I've made personally with my own children, with evidence-based studies and information that seems to come out regularly pointing to the overwhelming health benefits of exclusive breastfeeding; with the anger and frustration some women share over their own guilt about not breastfeeding their children; or the frustration they feel that they are made to feel guilty about the choices they've made. It's a fine line one walks between...

Who clips the nails? Survey results are in!

July 19, 2010
Thanks to everyone who took my "Who clips the nails?" survey. The results are in! Below is a summary. I'm posting the detailed results, comments, and analysis now and throughout the week on my blog: workingmomsbreak.com . Overview Even though studies show fathers are changing more diapers and folding more laundry than ever, mothers are still bearing most of the "psychic burden" of parenting—the scheduling, organizing, and myriad little tasks that fall to the primary caregiver. A month ago, I put together a survey asking parents how they divide certain responsibilities at home, and linked to...
Katrina Alcorn's picture

Breastfeeding - A Secret Weapon To Save Billions of Dollars

June 24, 2010
The American Academy of Pediatrics' prestigious journal, Pediatrics , recently released a cost analysis on breastfeeding . The bottom line: The United States could save $13 billion annually if 90 percent of families were able to comply with medical recommendations to breastfeed exclusively for six months. This could also prevent over 900 infant deaths in our nation, for which of course, there is no price tag. No brainer, right? So then why are only about 14 percent of all U.S. mothers able to breastfeed exclusively up to the six month doctor-recommended period, according to the Centers for...
Mary O's picture

Who Needs More Women in Government? Dads.

June 17, 2010
As the first-time mother of an 8-month-old, I’m often concerned with making the world better for my daughter as she grows up. But every day, I also realize that I’m not in this struggle alone. Not only are there millions of moms out there trying to figure out how to balance work, a personal life, and a child (or three)— there are also millions of fathers that now have to face the same challenges. According to CAWP , Elected women are working to make the agenda of legislative institutions more reflective of women's concerns stemming from their roles as caregivers in the family and in society...

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