Believe when women succeed america succeeds president

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believe when women succeed, America succeeds. - President Barack Obama 1 I. INTRODUCTION Despite President Obama's recent call for enhanced work-family balance policies in the United States, since its passage over 20 years ago, persistent concerns remain regarding gaps in the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), with some of the strongest criticisms leveled at its failure to mandate 1. President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address (Jan. 28, 2014). [Vol. 37:1
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ENCOURAGING WORK-FAMIL Y BALANCE paid maternity and paternity leave. 2 In fact, this failure continues to make the United States an extreme outlier among industrialized nations in terms of provision of policies designed to facilitate work-family balance. 3 The United States is one of four nations in the world that does not have a law mandating some form of paid maternity leave, a reality made more surprising by the fact that the United States is the only high-income nation maintaining this policy. 4 This problem is compounded by the reality that pregnancy-related healthcare is more costly in the United States than in any other industrialized country. 5 As one possible consequence of the failures of FMLA, the 2013 Global Gender Gap Report ranks the United States twenty-third internationally in gender equality, 6 2. See, e.g., Natasha Bhushan, Note, Work-Family Policy in the United States, 21 CORNELL J.L. & PUB. POL'Y 677, 689 (2012) (arguing that many families who are eligible to take leave under FMLA choose not to because they cannot afford to take time off); see also Annie Pelletier, Note, The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993-Why Does Parental Leave in the United States Fall so Far Behind Europe?, 42 GONZ. L. REV. 547, 558-60 (2006) (positing that the burden caused by unpaid leave may fall more heavily on men than women due to the male's traditional role as breadwinner, as well as on working class parents who likely cannot support a family based on a single income for an extended period of time). 3. Linda A. White, The United States in Comparative Perspective: Maternity and Parental Leave and Child Care Benefits Trends in Liberal Welfare States, 21 YALE J.L. & FEMINISM 185, 187, 232 (2009). 4. YUKO HARA & ARIANE HEGEWISCH, INST. FOR WOMEN'S POLICY RESEARCH, MATERNITY, PATERNITY, AND ADOPTION LEAVE IN THE UNITED STATES 1 (May 2013), available at http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/maternity-paternity-and-adoption- leave-in-the- united- states- 1. 5. Elisabeth Rosenthal, American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World, N.Y. TIMES, July 1, 2013, at Al (showing that the average amount paid for childbirth in 2012 is higher in the United States than in Switzerland, France, Chile, Netherlands, Britain, and South Africa). 6. WORLD ECON. FORUM, THE GLOBAL GENDER GAP REPORT 8 tbl.3a (2013), available at http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF GenderGapReport_2013.pdf. Global Gender Gap rankings are derived from four factors: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
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