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Motherhood and Feminism: Public Policy and Work-Family Balance. Women’s Studies 101. Goals. Understand how changing family structures mean a greater necessity for change in work structures Understand the global context for work-family balance

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Presentation Transcript
goals
Goals
  • Understand how changing family structures mean a greater necessity for change in work structures
  • Understand the global context for work-family balance
  • Understand how the increase in women who work while raising young children requires change in work structures
slide3
Mothers and WorkingFrom The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars: Who Decides What Makes a Good Mother?, Miriam Peskowtiz, 2005
  • Of all mothers,
    • 39% work FT Year Round
    • 37% work PT or part of the year
  • Mothers of infants
    • 44% work part time
    • 32% are at home full time
    • 24% work full time
slide4
Mothers and WorkingFrom The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars: Who Decides What Makes a Good Mother?, Miriam Peskowtiz, 2005
  • Mothers of preschoolers:
    • 33% work FT
    • 31% at home
    • 37% PT
  • Mothers of School Age Children
    • 45% work FT
    • 20% at home
    • 36% work PT
slide5

Time with ChildrenSuzanne M. Bianchi, John P. Robinson, and Melissa A. Milkie, Changing Rhythms of American Family Life (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2006) and Population Reference Bureau

  • Time diaries indicate that married fathers spent an average 6.5 hours a week caring for their children in 2000, a 153 percent increase since 1965.
  • Married mothers spent 12.9 hours, a 21 percent increase. Single mothers spent 11.8 hours, a 57 percent increase.
time with children
Time with Children
  • Reductions in:
    • Mothers: Housework, free time, civic activities, time with their partners, time with friends and relatives
    • Time on personal care
  • Multitasking
  • Employed mothers and single mothers
  • Especially among middle-class parents, children increasingly are expected to be the center of family life.
  • Because the average family now has fewer children than in the 1960s, the investment in each child is greater.
paid family leave
Paid Family Leave
  • 163 countries
  • Australia
paid family leave1
Paid Family Leave
  • The US Family and Medical Leave Act provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave to approximately half of the mothers in the US and nothing for the remainder
    • Research shows:
    • Improves the economic conditions of families
    • Provides economic returns to employers
support for breastfeeding
Support for Breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding may boost future social mobility
  • Reduces anxiety:
  • Other health benefits:
breastfeeding support1
Breastfeeding Support
  • 76 countries protect a women’s right to breastfeed; the US does not, in spite of the fact that breastfeeding has been shown to reduce infant mortality several fold.
    • Nearly 2/3 of these countries protect breastfeeding for 15 months or longer; 9 out of 10 protect this right for at least a year
paternity leave
Paternity Leave
  • 45 countries guarantee fathers paid paternity leave. The US Guarantees none
early childhood education
Early Childhood Education
  • The US is tied with Ecuador and Suriname for 39th in enrollment in early childhood are and education of 3-5 years old.
  • The US is tied for 91st out of 151 countries in the area of preprimary student-to-staff ratios.
paid leave to care for sick children
Paid Leave to care for Sick Children
  • At least 37 countries guarantee parents some type of paid leave specifically for when their children are ill. 2/3 guarantee more than a week of paid leave, and 1/3 guarantee 11 or more days
where the us stands
Where the US stands
  • 98 countries mandatory day of rest
  • At least 84 countries have laws that fix the maximum length of the work week.
  • 42 countries guarantee leave for major family events; in 37 of these countries, the leave is paid.
family structures changing
Family Structures Changing
  • Majority of US women living without spouse
    • 51 percent of women in 2005 reported living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000.
    • in 2005 married couples became a minority of all American households
      • Reasons: later marrying age, cohabitation, widows and divorcees less likely to remarry
    • 30 percent of black women are living with a spouse,
    • 49 percent of Hispanic women
    • 55 percent of non-Hispanic white women
    • 60 percent of Asian women.
discussion question
Discussion Question
  • How do institutional structures described in Crittenden’s book and the power point lecture shape women’s experience of motherhood, as seen in the video? What individual life choice strategies does Hirshman’s essay, “Homeward Bound” introduce for women to navigate these social structures? Do you agree with them?