Graduation Year

2015

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Reader 1

Eleanor Brown

Reader 2

Mark Golub

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© 2015 Sarah E. Hiller

Abstract

This thesis looks at how parental leave and early child care policies in the U.S. can reshape our understanding of the role of government, parental responsibility, and gender within paid labor in order to dismantle the systems of oppression and domination that lead to motherhood inequality. The United States is the only developed economy without mandated paid parental leave, and privatized child care costs can be greater than tuition at public universities. As a result, mothers, still overwhelmingly the primary caregivers in families, are forced to juggle the responsibilities of paid and domestic labor in a way that leads to employment discrimination. Because policies have a unique power to incentivize behavior and change socially ingrained biases, I propose that Congress institute paid parental leave through the FAMILY Act and revives the Comprehensive Child Development Act of 1971 to establish public child care.

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