Friday Morning Policy Report
Before we shift into weekend mode, here’s a quick look back at events this week impacting women and families, from Valerie Young, a public policy analyst with Mom-mentum.
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.
Compare our Congress with Sweden’s parliament, where women occupy 45% of all seats. Is it purely coincidence that dads there are taking on average 7 weeks of paid leave when their wives give birth? An astonishing 90% of fathers take leave, and the benefits extend beyond the father/child bond. Women there have higher incomes and report greater levels of happiness too. See The Economist on Why Swedish Dads Take So Much Paternity Leave.
Brand new data from the University of Minnesota supports the theory that a child’s care in the very first years matters greatly for the future. Parents and caregivers are laying the groundwork for a productive and healthy life all the way through that child’s adulthood. And the impact doesn’t stop there. “Because individuals’ success in relationships and academics represents the foundation for a healthy society, programs and initiatives that equip parents to interact with their children in a sensitive manner during the first few years of their children’s life can have long-term benefits for individuals, families, and society at large.” Find the full story at First 3 Years Of Caregiving Determine Child’s Lifelong Social Skills And Academic Achievement from Medical Daily.
You can follow Valerie on Facebook (Your (Wo)Man in Washington) and Twitter (@WomanInDC) and find her on the blog at Mom-mentum.