Thanksgiving is around the corner. Today my two-and-half-year-old came home from his day care with a thankful turkey. Thankful turkey, you know, the classic construction paper turkey lists what children are thankful for. We had this conversation. “Mama, look at my turkey!” “Wow! And what’s this?” “Things I xiexie for.” “And what do you xiexie [...]
M: Maternity/Paternity Leave
Paid family leave combats poverty, gives children a healthy start, and lowers the wage gap between women and men by providing structural support to balance work and family.
Selena's baby boy, Connor, was born six weeks early. As Connor was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit, Selena found herself alone in a hospital bed realizing that she was going to go home well before her baby. "There was no way we could afford for me to take off more than we planned,” recalls Selena. So after Selena had the baby on Thursday, she was released from the hospital Friday, and was back at her desk on Monday morning. “It was the hardest two and a half weeks of my life,” she says recalling the ache of being away from her newborn son.
Click here to watch a segment of the Motherhood Manifesto documentary to learn more about Selena's story and why we all need access to paid family and medical leave.
Know the Facts
- Right now only 13 (!!!) percent of Americans have access to paid family leave through their employer and only 37% have personal medical leave provided through an employer.
- Although the current Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows some employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, it only covers about 60 percent of employees.
- A quarter of all poverty spells in the United States are because of having a baby.
- The U.S is one of the only countries in the world that doesn't offer paid leave to new mothers.
- Paid family leave has been shown to reduce infant mortality by as much as 20% (and the U.S. ranks a low 37th of all countries in infant mortality).
- Paid leave improves worker retention, which saves employers money through reduced turnover cost.
What You Can Do
MomsBlogging on Maternity & Paternity Leave
This commentary was originally published on the TalkPoverty blog (http://TalkPoverty.org), a project of the Center for American Progress. Americans are fond of saying our children are our nation’s most valuable resource. But if our actions are the measure, do we really mean it? Mounting research evidence from neuroscience, public health, economics and social science supports a simple [...]
Once the turkey has been carved and we are all recovering from pumpkin pie comas, hectic travel, and quality time with the family, the so-called season of giving begins. If you are anything like me though, you are trying to avoid the non-stop holiday shopping commercials on tv and instead are trying to get your [...]
Earlier this year, the Women's Funding Alliance released an interesting little report called The Status of Women in Washington. Now before you bounce off because a) you've already used up your quota of "you go girl" fist bumps today, or b) you believe the gender gap is a bunch of hooey, hang with me for a moment. [...]