We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

Paid family leave isn’t just a women’s issue. It’s an economic one.

1 18 66
15.02.2019

To borrow a famous construct from the then-first lady : Women’s issues are economic issues, and economic issues are women’s issues.

That’s how we should be thinking about many of the “softer” policy areas that will be debated in the 2020 election — and that have already found their way into legislative proposals, including the paid family leave bill reintroduced this week by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.).

I’m hardly the first to point out the connection between “women’s issues” and the economy. Slate’s Jordan Weissmann, for instance, recently wrote an excellent piece emphasizing the economic benefits of affordable child care. But still, policies that affect mothers’ ability to work are too often framed as being mainly about fairness, feminism, personal fulfillment and family bonding.

They are indeed all these things. But they also address a pressing macroeconomic concern. In the long run, if we want to boost economic output and productivity, we need our policymakers to focus less on trickle-down tax cuts and more on why so many American women who want to work aren’t.

A few decades ago, the United States was a leader in women’s labor-force participation. For women considered to be of prime working age (25 to 54 years old),........

© Washington Post