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Thursday, March 30, 2023

What if being a working parent never gets easier?

First and foremost, the challenges of childcare and work management, long considered private family affairs, suddenly became public, making the needs of working parents a topic that resonated in conference rooms and state capitals across the country.

The potential consequences were serious: the pandemic could not only help change the answer to questions such as “Who picks up a sick child from school?” but it could also radically change whether jobs look askance at a parent who is distracted from work to do so. More importantly, any number of pandemic-inspired policy ideas, if implemented, could make it easier for working parents, especially women, to balance work and childcare, as well as improve gender equality at work and at home, and change entrenched gender norms. … about leaving.

“It’s just like an Overton window in which you’ve fueled public dialogue, but you also have a public desire to really change and reflect on the experiences of women in the workforce,” says K. Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Women’s Institute. “Policy Research,” says an interview this summer.

About half of mothers with children under 18 worked full-time last year. For white-collar workers and women in office jobs who were more likely to benefit from increased flexibility in their work, possible reforms were unequivocally promising.

But optimism is melting, in part because of Washington. The Biden administration and Congressional Democrats indicated earlier in the year that federal paid family and sick leave were a priority in the president’s domestic spending package, but the plan was cut from 12 weeks to four weeks and then removed entirely President Biden announced on Thursday.

“As you can see, the window is closing,” Dr. Mason said last week.

Now that the pandemic is receding and daily life is beginning to normalize, some working mothers are worried that nothing much will change.

“People are finally seeing how important caring for children is in our society,” said Kristen Shockley, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Georgia who studies the relationship between work and family life. “But will this affect the way our society values ​​caring? I’m less optimistic about this. “

World Nation News Desk
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