Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Worldwide Study: U.S. Lags Far Behind in Easing Women's Second Shift

An eight-year-long worldwide study by researchers at Harvard and McGill Universities confirms that the U.S. lags far behind the modern nations of the world, as well as a great many of the not-so-modern nations.

When it comes to the basic supports for workers and families that are so common in most of the world, the U.S. stands as a lone cowboy.

As the list below illustrates, we are talking about women's work. That would be women's traditional unpaid work. Some nations ensure that women can safely leave the home for paid jobs by implementing policy that provides crucial support for the daily work of caring for children, elderly parents, and husbands. Some nations don't.

Little wonder that women are healthier, wealthier and wield more power in the countries that acknowledge and support women's traditional unpaid work as the essential social contribution that it is. If somebody doesn't do it, society falls apart.

• 163 nations around the world guarantee paid sick leave; the U.S. does not.
• 164 nations guarantee paid annual leave; the U.S. does not.
• 177 nations guarantee paid leave for new mothers; the U.S. does not.
• 74 nations guarantee paid leave for new fathers; the U.S. does not.
• 48 nations guarantee paid time off to care for children’s health; the U.S. does not.
• 157 nations guarantee workers a day of rest each week; the U.S. does not.

"The report compiled information from 190 of 192 United Nations countries and from 55,000 households on seven continents. The study was led by researchers at Harvard and McGill Universities." (Number of countries in the world info.) via Ms.