Obama Proposes Expanded Paid Maternity
The United States Labor Department has recently given grants to the states for expanding paid maternity/family leave. The funding was taken from the Labor Department’s Women’s Bureau sector. During the recent State of the Union address, US President Barrack Obama pointed out that childcare and paid leave are things that do not just affect women. According to the president, these are problems affecting everyone.
“It’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us. It’s often an economic necessity today for both parents in a household to work,” the head of the White House explained.
In a report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it was revealed that 71% of female US residents who, aside from working, are also parents. However, this number is declining due to the ever-increasing expenses related to childcare combined with the fact that more and more women want to dedicate most of their time to their children.
It is worthy to note that the United States is one of the countries that do not extend help to working families, unlike many other countries around the world. In a United Nations’ International Labor survey that was published in the early part of this month, it was revealed that the US is the only developed country that is not implementing required paid maternity leave. Britain, on the other hand, provides women who have just given birth 52 weeks of paid leave. Italy implements the 22-week paid maternity leave. 14 weeks of paid leave for mothers of newborns are given to Japanese women.
The US president is not the only one pushing paid maternity leave; so is the Chief Executive Officer of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki.
President Obama made an official announcement that the government would be giving funds totaling to $2.2 billion for programs that are designed for the implementation of paid family leave.