Dems use fathers report to back calls for paid parental leave
Just before Father’s Day, House Democrats unveiled a new report that shows paternal leave is beneficial not only to children, but also the economy.
The report — State of the World’s Fathers — said that if men have greater involvement in caring for children the gross domestic product (GDP) could increase in the United States by 5 percent, in Japan by 9 percent, in the United Arab Emirates by 12 percent, and in Egypt by 34 percent.
“While maternity leave is now offered in nearly all countries, only 92 countries offer leave that can be taken by new fathers; in half of these countries, the leave is less than three weeks,” said the report by MenCare, a global campaign to promote men’s involvement as equitable caregivers.
Approximately 80 percent of men will become biological fathers at some point in their lives and fathers' involvement has been linked to higher cognitive development and school achievement, better mental health for boys and girls and lower rates of delinquency in sons, the report said.
Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Ami Bera (D-Calif.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who joined leaders of Promundo, the Center for Urban Families and the National Partnership for Women & Families to release the report, have all co-sponsored the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, which would provide workers with up to 12 weeks of partial income when taking sick or parental leave.
“Too often we focus on leave and childcare as women’s issues, but these are family issues affecting both fathers and mothers,” Maloney said in a statement. “How fathers engage in parenting and caregiving has a profound impact on the lives of their children and on the lives of women, but unfortunately the United States lags far behind the rest of the world in implementing family friendly policies.”
Maloney has introduced the Federal Employee Paid Parental Leave Act to give federal employees six weeks of paid leave for the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child, as well as the Flexibility for Working Families Act to ensure workers have the right to request a flexible work arrangement without fear of retribution.