When news broke that Ivanka Trump’s clothing line doesn’t offer workers paid maternity leave, some were surprised. After all, the Republican presidential nominee’s daughter has said she champions the rights of working mothers. “Policies that allow women with children to thrive should not be novelties,” she said on the last day of the Republican National Convention in July. “They should be the norm.”
The truth is, however, that in the United States bearing a child comes at a high price for many women. Despite having one of the world’s most advanced economies, the United States lags far behind other countries in its policies for expectant mothers. In addition to being the only highly competitive country where mothers are not guaranteed paid leave, it sits in stark contrast to countries such as Cuba and Mongolia that offer expectant mothers one year or more of paid leave.
Countries finance paid-maternal-leave policies in a variety of ways. Some require that the employer finance the leave; in others, the money comes from public funds. For low-income residents or those who work in the informal sector, an increasing number of governments are providing maternity cash benefits, according to the International Labor Organization, a U.N.-affiliated agency.
The graphic above highlights just how poorly the U.S. compares with the rest of the world. It shows that this is the only advanced economy that does not mandate paid leave for mothers at the federal level.
Full story: Washington Post
With the general election looming in November, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, the presumed nominees, are turning their attention to independent voters who may determine the outcome of the hotly contested presidential race.
Although not a hot button issue like immigration or trade policy, Clinton’s plan to alleviate the financial stress of caregiving—whether for a child or other family member—may be an important wedge issue to attract independent voters, especially women.
The subject gained attention last week when a research center in Berkeley, California, released a negative assessment of employment conditions and practices among early childhood workers, a predominantly female workforce.
Clinton is proposing a 3-pronged plan to alleviate the financial stress of caregiving: tax credits to help offset up to $6,000 in annual caregiving costs for elderly family members; providing credits towards monthly Social Security retirement benefits for caregivers who leave the paid labor force to care for elderly relatives; and expanding state-level grants to improve respite care access for family caregivers of children or adults of any age.
So far, Trump has not said much above caregiving, beyond backing on-site child care by employers. “It’s not expensive for a company to do it,” he has said.
Full Story: Women’s e-News »
The central conflict of domestic life right now isn’t men versus women or mothers versus fathers; it’s the family against money.
The solution to the work-life conundrum is not “enlisting men” in the domestic sphere. The solution is establishing social supports that allow families to function. The fact is, men can’t have it all, for the same reason women can’t: whether or not the load is being shared 50-50 doesn’t matter if the load is still unbearable. It will not become bearable once women lean in, or once the consciousness is raised, or once men are full partners, always, in domestic life. It will become bearable when decidedly more quotidian things become commonplace—like paid parental leave and affordable, quality day care.
Full Story: The Atlantic »
This is the Washington Work and Family Coalition’s test blog post.
Presentation by Marilyn Watkins, Policy Director, Economic Opportunity Institute to the League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County.
Click to watch video (new window)
Would you consider giving 2.5 hours to ensure that a million Washington workers get paid sick days in 2016?
On Saturday, June 4th, 250 volunteers will take to the streets and gather signatures for Initiative 1433’s Day of Action. Together we can gather 13,500 signatures in just one day and get I-1433 one giant step closer to our signature goal before the June 30 deadline!
Are you in?
Call the campaign headquarters today at (206) 709-1313 or visit this link to participate in this exciting Day of Action on June 4! The field staff will get you materials, tips, and a great location at a park, store or event near you.
We need you to be part of history: to raise Washington’s minimum wage from $9.47 to $13.50 and provide paid sick leave to workers statewide. With just six weeks to make the ballot, we need ALL hands on deck to gather the remaining signatures.
More than 30 cities and states have paid sick days, including Tacoma. It’s time to celebrate – and keep the momentum going! Join us to enjoy cake, share success stories and learn about the statewide effort for paid sick days and minimum wage increase.
Thursday, May 19
1 PM – 2:30 PM
Tacoma Public Library, Moore Branch
215 S 56th St, Tacoma, Washington 98408
Free: RSVP Here »