The Creators of our Existence
Mothers are a pretty big deal. Thats where we all begin our first steps of life, from our mothers. How we are raised, how our brains start developing, our relationship with our parents all happens in the very early stages of life. Yet there is a big problem that can get in the way of this and it is maternity leave. Currently America has only four states that require by law for workplaces to grant paid maternity leave. Oregon is not one of them. Paid maternity leave has positively impacted those four states which makes me wonder why doesn’t the rest of America follow their lead?
The United States maternity leave is directed by the Family and Medical Leave act of 1993. Their policy is twelve weeks of unpaid leave. But that is only if you worked 1,250 hours that year. Two out of five women do not qualify. This poses as a huge problem. There are single mothers out there. Or even families that are living on a one person income. How are they supposed to support themselves and another addition to the family? Statistics show that 43% of women leave the workforce once they have a child because they cannot balance out their life again. Statistics also show that 25% of women go back to work ten days after having a child and that is shown to not be healthy for the child or the mother. You would think people would see a simple solution but after so many years there is still no paid leave and families are still struggling.
Another benefit of paid leave would be that businesses would be going up in numbers and corporations would be doing so much better. In 2011 the California Center for Economic and Policy Research showed that after the state implemented paid leave, 91% of businesses said it had a positive effect on the profitability. There were no disadvantages mentioned. These economists also found that when people are offered paid leave they take it which lessens their likelihood of falling out of the workforce. Around the United States there are millions of businesses and around the world there are millions of mothers. Putting it into perspective, if corporations start supporting paid leave for all the mothers they will not only have a constant amount of workers but they will be flying high in their profits. Yes, this does mean that you support the mothers in their twelve weeks but won't they be giving that same support in return?
So now the questions still swirl in our brains. How soon will it take for the government to realize this problem? How long will it take them to realize that mothers are being treated lesser to corporations? That they are constricted by restrictive gender norms that limits their access to employment. How long will it take for them to realize that parents bring one of the greatest gifts to this world? If work forces cannot support the producers of this great gift then what will our country look like? We need to look a decade into the future and see the big picture. Will corporations be the same? How will the health of our children be looking like? How will we see the health of the 9.9 million of mothers in the United States? Every day there is a women in the world that becomes a mother and every day they have this weight of worry on their shoulders. It's about that time we remember where we really came from and support the ones who are the creators of our existence.
Glipin, Lyndsay. "10 Things You Need to Know about Maternity Leave in the US - TechRepublic." TechRepublic. N.p., 31 July 2015. Web. 28 Oct. 2016.
Rubin, Rita. "U.S. Dead Last Among Developed Countries When It Comes To Paid Maternity Leave." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 06 Apr. 2016. Web. 28 Oct. 2016.