Maternity Leave…How does the U.S.A. compare to other countries around the world?
- U.S.A. Maternity Leave or Lack There of! Looking at the data, the U.S. seems to not be concerned with this. Great countries know the value of the new generations…The U.S.A. will continue to have higher crime rates and higher poverty rates if it’s policies don’t CHANGE!
Pakistan and Mexico are among nations that offer superior paid maternity leave to women in their countries. The United States seems to be in the 19th century again, when it comes to all important issues such as the first 12 weeks of mother/child bonding. Many 3rd world countries offer a better maternity leave package for expecting mothers. This is unacceptable and should be to all Americans. Maybe we could build a few less aircraft carriers and ensure that new mothers and infants get 12 weeks of paid bonding time with their new babies…this may decrease some of the problems listed below. Seems pretty straight forward to me, yet I never hear of politicians introducing bills to the house and senate such as a maternity leave bill that would give women 12 weeks paid maternity leave. The companies would be supplemented by the government. The U.S.A. could just cut a couple billion out of some of the useless programs and another couple of billion from their “war machine” that never seems to stop!
The U.S.A. is the “force to be reckoned with” when it comes to military might, but, the U.S.A. also has the most prison inmates as well…mostly non-violent, War on Drug offenders that need treatment instead of Federal Prison. Truth be told, the U.S.A. is police nation, making more and more rules everyday but less and less benefits for Americans. We have endured a loss of freedom at a slow pace. America is not a world leader in anything, except for war!
Federal: On Dec. 31, 2012, there were 196,574 sentenced prisoners under federal jurisdiction. Of these, 99,426 were serving time for drug offenses, 11,688 for violent offenses, 11,568 for property offenses, and 72,519 for “public order” offenses (of which 23,700 were sentenced for immigration offenses, 30,046 for weapons offenses, and 17,633 for “other”).
State: On Dec. 31, 2011, there were 1,341,797 sentenced prisoners under state jurisdiction. Of these, 222,738 were serving time for drug offenses, of whom 55,013 were merely convicted for possession. There were also 717,861 serving time for violent offenses, 249,574 for property offenses, 142,230 for “public order” offenses (which include weapons, drunk driving, court offenses, commercialized vice, morals and decency offenses, liquor law violations, and other public-order offenses), and 9,392 for “other/unspecified”.
(Drug Offenders On Probation, 2011) Of the 3,971,319 adults on probation in the US at the end of 2011, 25% (approximately 992,830 people) were drug offenders.
See more at: http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Prisons_and_Drugs#sthash.tEps5xu8.dpuf
Non-violent offenders make up a great deal of the prison system. Maybe the U.S.A. and the states should look at decreasing these numbers and adding that money saved into the budget for women’s paid maternity leave. This is by no means a complete answer, but it is a start. Colorado is making millions already in taxing Marijuana, which they plan to use for many different programs, including education. Our country desperately needs more education and less incarceration. I truly believe, that allowing mothers to bond with their newborn children for 12 weeks paid, would also decrease negative outcomes for these children, thus improving the economy, reducing prison rates and improving America’s society.
Out of 178 nations, the U.S. is one of three that does not offer paid maternity leave benefits, let alone paid leave for fathers, which more than 50 of these nations offer. Lobbyists, corporations and money are behind this travesty to mothers, fathers and newborn children.
Newborns need that maternal and paternal bonding, especially the special bonding only a mother can provide but the U.S.A. has proven it is not concerned with this huge social issue.
Here’s how the U.S. stacks up to 14 other countries:
In comparison, Canada and Norway offer generous benefits that can be shared between the father and mother, France offers about four months, and even Mexico and Pakistan are among the nations offer 12 weeks paid leave for mothers. So the next time you hear how terrible some of these countries are, remember that they have less of their population in prison and THEY ALLOW 12 weeks paid to new mothers, and in some cases, new fathers.
American Mothers Deserve Better!
American women are offered 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which exempts companies with fewer than 50 paid employees, but in 2011, only 11 percent of private sector workers and 17 percent of public workers reported that they had access to paid maternity leave through their employer. And for first-time mothers, only about half can take paid leave when they give birth. This is unacceptable. Why do we let our government get away with this. We are a rich nation. Maybe it’s time to bring back the troops and take care of our own American families.
Bottom of the list…that’s how we stack up!
At the same time that working women in the U.S. lack a benefit widely available across the globe, almost 50 percent of families had two working parents in 2010, and 26 percent of households were headed by single parents. Without guaranteed paid maternity leave, many of these working women face significant financial hardship by having to choose between their paycheck and their families.
Women are forced to put their careers and financial future at risk simply because they want to have children. During their pregnancy, they face being fired unfairly or not being able to properly care for themselves. They should not have to worry about making ends meet without paid maternity leave on top of that. This is again, part of the problem.
Our most precious commodity…Our beautiful children…the future leaders in America. Our thinking has to change to break this destructive cycle!
If we want to change our crime rates, incarcerations, war, poverty…the first step is with our children. Our children really are our future. Healthcare, children, education…all should be priority over war. PEACE is what we need, at least for the next decade…Peace as long as we have been in war and so many Americans would be satisfied with just that. We owe it to our new mothers and children!
Adam Peck contributed to this report at: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/05/24/489973/paid-maternity-leave-us/