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Policy News Archives


Valerie Young HeadshotAn archive of Brain, Child’s weekly updates where we look at policy issues impacting women and children with Valerie Young, Public Policy Analyst for Mom-mentum.

February 20, 2015

Valentine’s Day prompted some interesting media about marriage, motherhood, and how much things have changed.  In 8 facts on love, marriage, and childbearing in America  the Brookings Institute notes that “While Americans may not be getting married, they’re still having children. More than 40 percent of new mothers are unmarried. And while many are living with a partner when their child is born, “half will split up with that partner by the time their child is five years old.”  Read More

February 13, 2015

Senator Patty Murray and Representative Rosa DeLauro introduced the paid sick days bill, the Healthy Families Act, again this week.  If enacted, the bill would provide employees at workplaces with at least 15 workers 7 earned sick days per year, for their own illness or to care for a sick family member. Read More

February 6, 2015

Pro-family policies matter to all parents, of course, fathers as much as mothers.  Many dads were in the room for the Men, Fathers, and Work Family Balance briefing at the Center for American Progress this week, some of them with brand new babies strapped to their chests.  Men more than women at work are more likely to have access to flexible schedules, and the number of offices offering paternity leave are growing, but men face a lot of social pressure to still behave as if fathering consists mostly of earning an income. Read More

January 30, 2015

We’re still feeling the lift from the President’s mention of the critical need for pro-family policies in the State of the Union Address.  Advocates are working harder than ever to push Congress towards paid leave, and a bill has been introduced to secure 6 weeks of paid parental leave to federal employees to make permanent the recent executive order which only lasts as long as this Presidency.  It will still be a long slog, so for good news I look further afield. Read More

January 23, 2015

The President definitely placed paid family leave, pay equity, earned sick days, and childcare at the center of national economic priorities in his State of the Union address.  This unleashed a deluge of discussion. Read More

January 9, 2015

It’s a brand new Congressional session, and this time 104 women took the oath to serve. That’s the highest number yet, but still under 20% of the House and Senate.  Judith Warner asks Does It Matter?  in this thoughtful article from Politico. Read More

October 5, 2014

Right here in the nation’s capital, employees of the Washington DC city government can now take up to 8 weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a new child or to care for a seriously ill family member.  Bryce Covert writes in Think Promise: “Overall, just 15 percent of those who work for local governments have access to paid leave and 18 percent of state government employees have it.”  That certainly needs to change. Read More

September 14, 2014

Congress cleared the way this week to open debate of the paid family leave bill known as the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMILY) Act.  Maybe the looming midterms prompted some Senators to switch their votes since the issue came up last April.  More good news – four members of the US House signed as co-sponsors of the bill.  Read More

September 7, 2014

The Equal Rights Amendment has been re-introduced, again. It passed both houses of Congress in 1972, but came up three states short of the 38 it needed for ratification. It’s been reintroduced every congressional session since, and it’s not likely to go anywhere this year either. However, it’s still a cause some women fervently believe in. Read More

August 17, 2014

Social Security may not be sexy, but you really can’t argue with its efficiency and success at cutting the poverty rate.  It’s 77 years young this week, and has always paid its full obligation, year in, year out.  Women benefit the most – because our work lives are interrupted for family care, because we are paid less, and because we live longer, women are much more dependent, and more likely to be lifted out of poverty, by this federal program. Read More

August 10, 2014

Who takes the big hit for having kids?  Moms do, according to US News & World Report, because the way we do work in this country makes it an all or nothing proposition. “Professional women often end up opting out because it simply feels impossible to take care of both family and work responsibilities,” Lovejoy says. Read More

July 27, 2014

Most states have some sort of laws on the books protecting pregnant or breastfeeding workers.  Does yours? Read More

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