It’s almost Mother’s Day and we thought we would share a map to celebrate how much the world does to support expecting and new mothers!
HALT. Put the Mother’s Day card down Steve, we’re just getting started.
Bad news first:
The countries that do not provide paid maternity leave are Suriname, Papua New Guinea, and if you didn’t notice it already, the USA. We double checked the 2015 data to make sure the map was accurate, and while it’s unfortunate that Suriname and Papua New Guinea still do not currently provide paid maternity leave, we can’t help but stare at that big orange blob called the United States and wonder “WHY ON BEAUTIFUL PLANET EARTH DOES AN OECD COUNTRY NOT OFFER PAID MATERNITY LEAVE?!”
An OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) country is one that operates under the democratic system and has a free economy. OECD countries are typically considered to be part of the “wealthy world.” So it makes total sense that all “wealthy world” countries would pay their mothers to take off work to care for their newborns.
And while it’s really easy to look at the map and graph above and scream “the United States government is being controlled by money hungry babysitters!”, keep in mind that this map focuses on *paid* maternity leave.
In 1993 the U.S. passed a super helpful law called the Family and Medical Leave Act that requires 12 weeks of unpaid leave to new mothers who work at companies with 50+ employees. YAYYY! Problem solved! Let’s celebrate Mother’s Day now!
Oh wait, that’s still awful! Especially since most companies in the U.S. operate with less than 50 employees and the word “unpaid” still means *no money* for mommy.
Now we can throw a fit! THE U.S. GOVERNMENT IS BEING CONTROLLED BY MONEY HUNGRY BABYSITTERS!
Ok let’s compose ourselves and look at a *slightly* more uplifting map!
We know this isn’t the happy ending you were expecting as we near Mother’s Day, but it does give us some hope that the future holds more respect toward expecting mothers and the time they need to bond with and raise their newborns. Plus, many companies operating across the U.S. offer 16+ weeks of paid maternity leave.
We hope that this map helped you learn something new, and we welcome feedback and comments on the map(s) and our article! And we hope that you celebrate your mother this Mother’s Day, especially if she raised you to read an article all the way to the end! Go mom!
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