Here's What's Missing From Trump's Paid Maternity Leave Plan

Maybe it's time for a redraft.

On Tuesday night, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump channeled his inner Ivanka Trump by releasing a national plan to make child care more affordable and accessible. The plan, crafted in part by Trump's eldest daughter, includes a guarantee of six weeks of paid maternity leave.


"The United States is the only country in the world that does not offer guaranteed maternity care," Ivanka Trump told Fox News' Megyn Kelly on Tuesday. She added that the U.S. must "catch up with the times."

While Trump's maternity plan is a major abandonment from a Republican party that traditionally has blocked paid family leave, there are some concerns about the proposal. Critics say that the plan falls short of fellow candidate Hillary Clinton's proposal, which boasts 12 weeks of paid leave, and that Trump's plan technically might not be full paid leave at all.

But there's also one other glaring omission from Trump's paid leave proposal: paternity leave is not included. 

Economist Betsey Stevenson perfectly contextualized the oversight on Twitter.

As difficult as it is for women in the U.S. to find a job that offers paid parental leave, it is even more rare for men to find one. Nine out of 10 dads in the U.S. take time off work for the birth or adoption of a child, according to a U.S. Department of Labor brief.

Trump's exclusion of working fathers from paid family leave could also negatively affect some LGBT families because adoption is not included.

The idea of giving men paid time off for the birth or the adoption of a child has increased in popularity in recent years, with about 79 countries providing paternity leave entitlements.

Giving male workers paid paternity leave could increase father engagement and bonding with the new child — which is something that the entire family would benefit from.

Perhaps Trump should consider including dads as part of his paid family leave proposal.

Cover via Shutterstock/Halfpoint


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