Work & Family
Unlike most industrialized countries in the world, the United States does very little to protect pregnant women, parents and families. For example, America is one of only two industrialized nations in the world that does not require any paid maternity or parental leave. The United States is also one of the few industrialized nations that does not provide child or family allowances -- cash benefits given to families with children. Moreover, the United States remains the only western industrialized country not to have a national system of health insurance, and specifically, it does not guarantee health coverage for caregivers and their young children. NAPW believes that abortion controversy, the war on drugs and such other highly charged issues as gay marriage are kept in the forefront of the media and political debate because they so effectively distract attention from pressing questions of why our leaders are doing so little to support family life.
Two excellent books on the subject of work and family are:
Joan William's book, Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What to Do about It
Ann Crittenden's book: The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World Is Still the Least Valued
Many other sections of this web site address aspects of work and family. For example, under the heading Employment Discrimination, NAPW provides a guide that compiles information about several key legal areas relating to pregnancy discrimination in employment and related issues. In this section you will find a list of useful resources and links that address a range of important work and family life issues.
Despite the many issues affecting women's health and lives, bills to further restrict abortion are likely to be the primary focus of your legislature's session this year. As a result of this extensive attention to this one aspect of pregnant women's lives, chances are that your state legislature will not address many other health issues of concern to pregnant women and mothers — not breast cancer nor heart disease, not the lack of health insurance for millions of women and children nor the lack of access to mother-friendly childbirth. Here are some suggestions for action you and your state can take to ensure that policies to advance a culture of life, values the women who give that life:
The Work Life Law Program at UC Hastings College of the Law has an excellent report addressing the problem working mothers face when a child is sick at home. For this excellent report, One Sick Child Away From Being Fired: When "Opting Out" Is Not An Option, by Professor Joan C. Williams please go to:
The Program on WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of Law seeks to influence workplace norms to better allow parents and caregivers to successfully pursue economic stability and family care goals. Visit http://www.uchastings.edu/?pid=3624 to find out more.
The Women's Economic Agenda Project (WEAP) demands economic justice for poor women and their families. One of WEAP's major initiatives is advocating for employer-provided health care for working women, including helping women to organize for on the job healthcare. Call (510) 451-7379 or visit: http://www.weap.org/index.html.
The Mothers Movement Online provides an open source for the distribution of information about social, cultural, economic and political conditions that impact the lives of mothers. Visit www.mothersmovement.org/index.htm.
Mothers & More is a non-profit membership organization that provides a nationwide network of local chapters for mothers who are – by choice or circumstance – altering their participation in the paid workplace over the course of their active parenting years. Call 630-941-3553 or visit: http://www.mothersandmore.org/index.html.
MOTHERS: is an online resource at: www.mothersoughttohaveequalrights.org, that provides information on issues affecting the economic status of caregivers, running a monthly online book group, and offering a downloadable three-hour workshop: “Economic ABC's for Mothers.”
9 to 5, National Association of Working Women offers fact sheets on the FMLA, maternity leave, pregnancy discrimination, and related issues at www.9to5.org/pubs/downloads.php. 9 to 5 also operates a Job Survival Hotline for women who would like help with their work-related challenges. Call 1-800-522-0925 and leave a message including your name, phone number, and a good time to reach you, and you will be contacted by a trained hotline staff person.
For more information about a mother’s right to breastfeed at job sites and other public places, visit La Leche League International at www.lalecheleague.org
- http://harmredux.org">Harm Reduction Project