2Center or American Progress | A Woman’s Agenda or the 21st Century
soluions, in par because hey coninue o ake on a larger share o he amily careak-ing responsibiliies—or boh he young
members o heir amilies—and because he hurdles hey ace in he workplace and a home, such as hose oulined below, only compound over ime, seting hem back economically in ever-worsening ways over he course o heir lieimes.
By addressing longsanding and ongoing gender dispariies in pay and access o benes; beeng up amily suppors such as universal child care, paid sick days, and paid am-ily and medical leave; combaing unemploymen; and empowering employees o ghdiscriminaion, policymakers could subsanially and rapidly improve women’s lives and build amily economic securiy. We need o promoe economic securiy or women and heir amilies by ensuring haevery woman can earn a air day’s pay and by creaing insiuions ha suppor amiliesas hey are, no as we imagine hem o be. Here are 12 good policies ha lawmakers cange sared on oday o beter promoe women’s economic securiy or hemselves andheir amilies.
Paid family and medical leave insurance
Women—and men—who work need ime o or amily reasons, buhe Unied Saes is he only developed counry ha does no havenaional paid amily and medical leave. Caliornia and New Jersey,however, are leading he way.
Research on Caliornia’s programhas ound ha i’s good or workers, good or amilies, and good or women. I also ound ha i has been a “non-even” or businesses, wih 9 in 10 businesses reporing ha he implemenaion o he pro-gram had no noiceable eec or a posiive eec on produciviy (89percen), on proabiliy (91 percen), and on urnover (93 percen).
A 2012 sudy rom he Cener or Women and Work a RugersUniversiy ound ha women who used paid leave were 39 percenless likely o receive public assisance and 40 percen less likely oreceive ood samps in he year aer a child’s birh.
Congress can ollow he lead o hese saes and inroduce legislaionashioned aer he Cener or American Progress’s Social Securiy Cares model or a social insurance program ha would allow work-ers o earn up o 12 weeks o paid leave aer he birh o a child, he worker’s own serious illness, or he serious illness o a amily mem- ber.
In he meanime, Congress can also do more o help oher saesimplemen paid-leave-insurance programs by approving unds o help wih sarup and oher coss.
Most noncollege mothers do not getpaid leave after childbirth
Percentage of new mothers using some form of paid leave after birth (includes paid maternity, sick,vacation, and/or other paid leave), 2006−2008
Source: U.S. Bureau o the Census,
Maternity Leave and Employment Patterns of First-Time Mothers: 1961–2008
, (U.S. Department o Commerce, 2011).
010%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%Less thanhigh schoolHigh schoolgraduateSomecollegeBachelor’sdegree orhigher19%32%47%66%