This blog originally appeared on February 25, 2014 as part of the Religious Action Center’s blog series “Double Booked: A Conversation about Working Families in the 21st Century.” Double Booked deals with the many issues that affect working families, and features everything from personal stories to policy analysis. Visit the Double Booked portal to read more posts and subscribe [...]
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. More
Read more in our collection of stories from moms and dads across the country about the need for paid family leave.
Know the Facts
- Having a baby is a leading cause of "poverty spells" in the U.S. -- when income dips below what's needed for basic living expenses.
- In the U.S., 49% of mothers cobble together paid leave following childbirth by using sick days, vacation days, disability leave, and maternity leave.
- 51% of new mothers lack any paid leave -- so some take unpaid leave, some quit, some even lose their jobs.
- The U.S is one of only 4 countries that doesn't offer paid leave to new mothers -- the others are Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and Lesotho.
- 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).
What You Can Do
MomsBlogging on Maternity & Paternity Leave
“The greatest gift that we have as human beings is our ability to empathize.” These words are attributed to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas. Empathy is just one of the big topics covered in the MomsRising blog posts this past week. Check out the top five blogs posts, comment on the stories [...]
Leaning on Each Other to Lead: Parents have the skills and talents to create meaningful change togetherPosted February 22nd, 2014 by Shay Chan Hodges
Last November I uploaded my ebook, Lean On and Lead, Mothering and Work in the 21st Century Economy, to the iBooks Store. In addition to the next-gen interactivity within the book, Apple allows authors to update publications, with readers automatically receiving free updates. So I designed a new cover (with the help of my artistic teenage son), [...]