Friday, March 7, 2008

MomsRising to Enact Paid Family Leave

I just took a minute to contact the leading candidates for President using the link below and I hope you will too. Breastfeeding takes eight to ten hours per day, and mothers need paid family leave in order to give their babies a healthy start. Join me in telling the candidates for President to support and prioritize paid family leave.

To send a quick and easy email to the candidates, just go to: Email the candidates

Thank you!

For more information read this message from Nannette of MomsRising below:

Dear MomsRising member,

Did you know it takes eight to ten hours per day to breastfeed a newborn?[1]

As a mother of four, I can attest that I spent many long hours breastfeeding, especially in my children's first weeks of life. So, the question of paid family leave is personal for me. How can a mother be successful in those early make-or-break days if she's working long hours, feeling pressured to get back to work quickly, or wondering how to make ends meet if she doesn't return fast because she has no paid time off?

The Presidential candidates talk about bringing new ideas and leadership to this country. Some of them even have plans in place to enact paid family leave, but none of those promises will become policy unless the candidates know that moms are paying attention -- and what we want is action.

Tell the leading Presidential candidates that moms in America need paid family leave.

Email the Candidates

According to a new study just released by the U.S. Census Bureau [2], 49% of American mothers cobble together some sort of paid leave following childbirth by using a combination of sick days, vacation days, disability leave, and employer-provided maternity leave. A full 51% of new mothers lack any paid leave-so some take unpaid leave, some quit, some even lose their jobs.

Tomorrow, Saturday, March 8, is International Women's Day. A joint Harvard and McGill University study of over 170 countries found that the U.S. is one of only four countries that doesn't have any paid leave for new mothers.[3] This is a national disgrace.

The next president has a chance to right this wrong. But we need to get on their radar now, while they are courting the "mom" vote. Send an email to the leading Presidential candidates asking them, upon taking office, to make it a priority to pass national paid family leave.

Please pass along this email to other moms, dads, and grandparents who want to see a more family-friendly America. We appreciate it and so do our babies!

[1] The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, by the La Leche League, contains a treasure trove of advice for new moms.

[2] U.S. Census Bureau, Maternity Leave and Employment Patterns: 1961-2003 Maternity Leave and Employment Patterns

[3] For example, mothers in France get 10 weeks and mothers in Germany get 14 weeks of fully paid leave. See: Paid Leave in 5 countries. See also: "The Work, Family, and Equity Index: How Does the U.S. Measure Up," by Jody Heyman, Allison Earle, and Jeffrey Hayes. How the US Measures Up; and "More Moms Take Paid Leave," by Cheryl Wetzstein, The Washington Times, February 26, 2008. Moms Take Paid Leave

1 comment:

Jenne said...

To update, I wrote to my local legislatures and found that the state of Washington has passed a bill that will enact paid family leave, but they are struggling to find how to fund the project. Its been deferred to the legislative session next year in 2009.

I got a form letter response from Hilary Clinton thanking me for my email. Nothing from the other candidates. Looking at the websites, Barack Obama's plan for strengthing families looks best to me, but Hilary scores some points with her plan to give incentives to low income families for one parent to stay home to care for children.

The Washington legislature has yet to consider incentives for stay at home parents due to the struggling economy at this time, but the worker at the state representative's office stated he would discuss the idea with the representative.