Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

U.S. alone among Western countries on lack of paid maternity leave

with one comment

The US is “special” (in the pejorative sense) in many ways: one of 3 nations in the world that refuse to use the metric system (the other two are Liberia and Myanmar), the nation that imprisons the highest proportion of its citizens (we really lead here: no other nation is even close), the only advanced nation that witnesses mass killings of its citizens as a part of daily life, and so on. Our healthcare system, though recently improved, lags far behind that of other advanced nations. And the US does not provide paid maternity leave. John Zarocostas reports in McClatchy:

The United States is the only Western country—and one of only three in the world—that does not provide some kind of monetary payment to new mothers who’ve taken maternity leave from their jobs, a new U.N. study reports.

Two other countries share the U.S. position of providing “no cash benefits during maternity leave,” according to the report, which was released Tuesday by the International Labor Organization: Oman, an absolute monarchy in the Persian Gulf; and Papua New Guinea, a South Pacific nation where the U.S. State Department says violence against women is so common that 60 percent of men in a U.N. study acknowledged having committed a rape.

The other 182 countries surveyed provide either a Social Security-like government payment to women who’ve recently given birth or adopted a child or require employers to continue at least a percentage of the worker’s pay. In 70 countries, paid leave is also provided for fathers, the report said, including Australia, which introduced 14 days of paid paternity leave last year, and Norway, which expanded its paternity leave from 12 to 14 weeks.

The United States also provides for fewer weeks of maternity leave than what other Western countries mandate, the report said. . .

Continue reading. It’s too bad that the US simply cannot get its act together. The problem in part is due to an antiquated Congressional structure that doesn’t allow effective operation. In additional to structural problems, it seems that most in Congress operate in fear (of the next election) and greed and don’t have any sense of responsibility to the nation and its citizens. For example, those making the most noise about the breakdown of the VA healthcare system are the very same people who voted against providing the funding so the VA could do its work. They eagerly blame Shinseki and ignore the damage that they themselves have done by underfunding the agency—an attitude typical of Congress, and an attitude that results in the continuing decline of the US.

UPDATE: More on how Congress shafted the VA.

Written by Leisureguy

30 May 2014 at 1:37 pm

One Response

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  1. Tanya

    30 May 2014 at 11:23 pm

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