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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 10, 2014 at 7:05 AM

Balancing a career and pregnancy: Increase paid family leave

I’m a college student and I would love to have children, later in life [“The fears of balancing pregnancy and a career,” Opinion, Oct. 25]. However, I find myself also frightened about having children while having a job for many of the same reasons presented in the guest column.

As the column stated, only three out of 188 countries don’t have paid family leave, including the U.S. The fact that we have nothing, while Norway, for example, has both maternity and paternity leave is absurd. Norway, and many other countries, are ahead of us in family leave and, incidentally, gender equality because of this fact.

With fathers getting paternity leave, there is the expectation that they, and their spouses, will have equal domestic and economic responsibilities. And because mothers don’t have to fear being laid off, there are fewer women and children in shelters and other homes.

It’s time the U.S makes a change. Small steps at least. Maternity leave without negative consequences is an excellent start. Women wouldn’t be afraid to lose their jobs and would be much less stressed throughout their pregnancies if this kind of leave was given, paid or not. Obviously the next step would be paid leave. Either way a change needs to happen, and soon.

Alex Lewis, Bellingham

Comments | More in Womens rights | Topics: Alex Lewis, gender equality, maternity leave

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