A new “long-term study by University College London suggests young girls fare better if their mothers go out to work.” (link to article and study) I wish that wasn’t the headline. I wish that we were past needing or wanting studies and headlines like this that pit working mothers against stay at home ones. Reality is though we still live in a world were women who work, whether by pure economic need or other reasons, are too often made to feel or just feel, that their children will suffer because of it.
We also still live in a country that does not do enough to support working parents. “The ideal scenario for children of both sexes was for both parents to live at home and for both to be working, a finding that will encourage policymakers’ moves to help families stay together, if not critics of the rising numbers of working mothers.” This should have been the headline for the research. Policies and practices like maternity leave, pay-equity, paid sick leave, compassionate leave are not women’s issues, they are family issues and need increasingly to be framed as such for the health of our children, our communities and our nation.
To learn more about the issues please check out the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.