Friday, February 02, 2007

Where America Stands on Family

There are only 5 countries that do not guarantee paid maternity leave for its mothers--Papa New Guinea, Liberia, Lesotho, Swaziland, and the United States of America. Also--65% of all countries offer some form of paid paternity leave.

For all of our freedoms and our worry of women's rights in other nations, American Women have completely forgotten how bad we have it here in our own country. We have been brainwashed--yes a strong word--by big business and our own desire to be as important in the business world as men. Only 12% of companies in America offer paid maternity leave--while 71% of women work. Yes there is FMLA, but this only guarantees time off--not pay--and it does not apply to everyone. This shouts loud and clear that the value of family is at the bottom of the list and the value of the all mighty dollar rules supreme.

A WOMAN representative from the department of labor was defending big business and stated many amazingly anti-family sentiments. She stated that women must take responsibility for their own actions as if having children is somehow an irresponsible decision. She also said that families must plan better to be able to afford unpaid leave--if eligible--or to provide child care. Has feminism taken us so far away from the importance of family? She also agree that people who don't have children have the right to be upset that people who have children might get some sort of leave. As though there is absolutely no sacrifices made by those of us who take it upon our shoulders to bring forth the next generation. Yes, having a family is now a choice, but it was not always that way--only since the complete and total over population of the world.

Another sound byte that this woman managed to utter was that it would be economically devastating if we instituted mandatory paid maternity leave. yeah I am sure in this time of record profit that a few weeks of paid leave would hurt America's corporate bottom line. This is a status quo statement propagated by big business who doesn't want to give American workers anything that they don't have to. Never mind that it is increasingly thought that happy employees are more productive and I have to think that a woman who is given 6 weeks paid leave will be happier and more productive than a woman who takes her two weeks vacation to have a baby and then goes back to work with no additional time off.

We are a lost nation that is wowed by the Almighty dollar and ruled by the ideals of those who hire nannies to take care of their offspring and send them off to boarding schools. Of course this set doesn't understand the importance of family. Nor can they see they are cutting off their nose to spite their face. It is evident in our country the effects of this unraveling and under appreciation of the American family.


MP2 said...

As you know, I live literally next to Canada. Their system is awesome - all the moms take at least a year to 18 months off after their babies arrive. Actually, that is not awesome - it is humane. Our system sucks. Can you even imagine going back to work right now???!

And congratulations on your daughter's next step in paperwork!!!

Jen said...

I live in Canada and you are right. we receive 50 weeks of paid Maternity leave (at 65 % of your gross income, with a Max. of $450/week) and if we are adopting we receive 35 weeks of parental leave. Both of these leaves can be taken by one parent or split by both.