Work Life Balance

Hillary Clinton Focusing On Paid Family Leave In New Campaign Video Gives Us All Hope

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Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is in full swing and yesterday, she released a new ad focusing on a cause close to the hearts of parents everywhere. In it, she outlined the need for paid family leave in America, something that parents in nearly every other developed country in the world are given. It really is a travesty that paid leave is not yet mandated in our country and Hillary being elected president gives me hope that it could still happen.

In what some might say is a calculated move to soften her image, Clinton talked of her own mother and new granddaughter in the ad, highlighting the importance of strong women in making strong families. Here it is:

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Cliche or not, this gave me chills. The thought that Clinton may be able to mandate paid leave for all parents were she elected makes me positively giddy. Imagine, women being able to have a baby and not panic about returning to work in just a few short weeks. John Oliver also discussed this issue on his show last night, in a more humorous manner of course, but he still made some excellent points, via Jezebel:

“In America, there is nothing we wouldn’t do for moms—apart from one major thing.” Which is, of course, paid maternity leave. Motherhood: we love it when we’re trying to sell wings and baseball tickets; we hate it when it costs a corporation sweet, sweet cash.

In his bit, he outlines various companies that encourage a purchase for Mother’s Day because golly gee, we love moms so much and they mean the world to us, but of course, these are some of the many thousands of companies that give a mother jack shit for paid leave when having a baby. It really is astounding how poorly parents are treated in this country in regard to time off after childbirth or adoption. Oliver notes that it’s down to only America and Papua New Guinea as far as countries that have yet to mandate paid family leave. That’s honestly vile. How can we say we are a world super power when we have women returning to work sometimes only a few weeks (or even days, I’ve heard) after giving birth? It’s a point of shame to me as an American that this happens to mothers all over our country every single day.

Even if Clinton is “using” her new granddaughter for political gain and to revamp her image, as Jezebel suggests, I say, let her. If it means making strides for working parents and allowing a mother to stay home with her baby for an appropriate amount of time without worrying about falling behind financially then I can’t see anything negative about it. And call me a sap, but I felt a real sincerity coming from her in that video. Obviously, she and her own daughter are not like typical American mothers in a million ways but they do love their own children and they must understand how difficult it is for the average working mom to take time off after having a baby. She understands the pull of family life and the inevitable financial struggles, even if she didn’t face those same struggles herself.

(Image: GettyImages)