Monday, May 7, 2007

Mother's Day Around the Bend

Not sure how I missed this one but Katha Pollitt did a nice piece on Alternet after Sharon Lerner's "The Motherhood Experiment" ran last month in the New York Times, linking low fertility rates (more only children!) to governments waking up and smelling work/life conflict as a cause.
Writes Katha, invoking Lerner,
[F]ertility rates -- the average number of children per woman -- have fallen below replacement level in ninety countries, including such Catholic stalwarts as Ireland (1.9), Spain (1.3), Italy (1.3) and Portugal (1.4). Even the much-trumpeted increasing US population is mostly a product of immigration (the actual fertility rate is 2.0). While politicians in Japan (1.3) seem fatally drawn to chastising women as recalcitrant "baby-making machines," European governments have started asking if making life easier for working mothers might do the trick....[It wouldn't] be the first time a government has done the right thing for the wrong reason.

Population implosion leading to paid parental leave? Hey, we'll take it. Happy Mother's Day, all you (paid and unpaid) Moms!

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