Less job security for women? Blame paid maternity leave

by Ilaria Lonigro - 2013.05.02
Less job security for women? Blame paid maternity leave
  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Whatsapp
  • Print

Paid maternity leave penalizes women who work. This controversial idea was put forth (and supported by data) in a recent study by the renowned Cornell University in New York. The authors, professors Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn, analyzed data on female employment and government policies on the matter in 22 OECD countries. They found that in countries where female workers' rights are more protected, there are also more women not in full-time work (with 'atypical' work contracts, such as part-time, temporary work).

In contrast, in the US, where there is no paid maternity leave, women are more focused on their career and are more often in full-time work. But not all that glitters is gold. In the US, top positions go to women who prove that they put work above all else, even at the expense of their family.

Are there really no convincing solutions to the problem of reconciling family and full-time work?Professor and sociologist Philip Cohen, from the University of Maryland, makes a valid point: he says that some policies for work-life balance, such as parental leave, could even be counter-productive. To support working parents, public nurseries are essential.

In Italy, too few children attend nurseries: slightly more than 3% in the south and less than 17% in the north-east, according to the latest data from Istat. In a country where childcare is almost exclusively the responsibility of the mother (who therefore works 40 hours more per week than the father), it is not surprising that in the workplace women have less job security (35% of women are in 'insecure' contracts compared with 27% of men). More women are also working in jobs they are over-qualified for (52% of women compared with 41% of men), according to the Istat report 'Women's work in times of crisis', edited by Linda Sabbadini.

Published in Gender issues.
  • Four suggestions to help menopausal workers

    The workplace should be more comfortable for menopausal employees. This is the opinion of the British Government who, using the best researchers at the University of Leicester, has just published literature for managers and employers. Here are some tips: 1) Prepare rest areas to allow women to manage the symptoms of Read More.

  • Porno addicts as boys, sexists as men

    Porno addicts as young boys, sexists as adult men. In short, that is the conclusion of a study undertaken by the University of Nebraska presented at the largest conference in the world dedicated to Psychology, taking place in Washington (D.C.). The data collected from a sample of adolescents and adults Read More.

  • The way women abuse men sexually

    It is an argument not so widely explored, but also men suffer sexual abuse from women. Who use several ways of coercion to force men to have sex with them. A truth emerged from a paper released by the University of Lancaster. According to which, three are the most preferred Read More.

  • Visionary who wanted to free women from the slavery of housework

    Frances Gabe, the ingenious woman who invented the self-cleaning house recently died at the age of 101, forgotten in silence. A half-century ago, after years of a daily routine as a simple housewife, Mrs. Gabe, threw her husband out of the house and with 2 mouths to feed, she was determined Read More.

  • Female sexuality is a right that needs to be defended

    For women sex is important after the age of 50 too.These words were pronounced by the judges of the European Court for Human Rights who ruled in favor of a Portuguese woman whose sex life was seriously compromised due to a surgical intervention. Here are the facts. Ms. Maria Morais Read More.

  • Female BBC stars demanding equal pay in full

    Some of the BBC's most high-profile female personalities have called on the corporation to "act now" to deal with the gender pay gap. The recent pay details released in the Annual report showed that women at the BBC are being paid less than men for the same work. Claudia Winkleman Read More.