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Sunday News Update: September 28, 2014

BC Logo_SquareWelcome to Brain, Child’s Sunday policy update where we look at  issues impacting women and children with Valerie Young, Public Policy Analyst for Mom-mentum formerly National Association of Mothers’ Centers.

With mid-term elections now on the horizon, the members of Congress have scampered home to look after their seats.  Your (Wo)Man in Washington is still at her post, however, and sends us this summary of weekly highlights.

We haven’t seen this before – the US Department of Labor is promoting paid leave with this video, comparing Germany’s 14 weeks of maternity leave to the US’s 0 weeks.  Because a national standard is such a heavy lift in this country, the DOL’s Women’s Bureau is also channeling big money to 3 states and the District of Columbia to fund feasibility studies for state-wide paid leave programs.  Labor Secretary Tom Perez says “We need to do more to give people the tools to be responsible employees and good caregivers, so they don’t have to choose between the families they love and the jobs and economic security they need.”  It’s a start.

Are women’s magazine waking up?  (We know Brain, Child has always been awake: ) See what you make of some of these issues covered in mainstream women’s magazines this week: Elle just posted Why Women’s Role in Politics Is More Important Than EverGlamour has come out with Motherhood, Penalty Begone and Vanity Fair invites you to Watch Emma Watson Deliver a Game-Changing Speech on Feminism at the U.N.  Maybe there IS more to life than a model search of Fall’s “must have” accessories.

There may be more to the pay gap than what happens at work.  In fact, the disparity may start much, much earlier, according to the New York Times Motherlode blog, and parents could be implicated.  “While it’s true that plenty of discrimination exists in the workplace, the way we rear our daughters probably contributes something to the persistent wage gap that exists among adults.”  Something to think about.

Follow Valerie on Facebook at Your (Wo)Man in Washington, and on Twitter @WomanInDC. Valerie went to a feminist  conference in New York City last weekend. See her thoughts at Mom-mentum’s Your Woman in Washington blog.




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