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Sex in the News: True Effects of the Women’s Rights Movement

The women’s rights movement has been great, right?

In many ways, yes. In many ways women are much closer to equal income and in some college programs there are more women that men. All in all, women have been making strides over the years. But this isn’t the case for all women. While rich and middle-class women have been climbing all sorts of ladders, less fortunate women have the same amount of equality as back in the 1970s.

Economic Professor Nancy Folbre wrote for the New York Times’ blog, Economix, that 18 percent of women with only a high school diploma are granted paid maternity leave. This is in contrast to the 66 percent of women with a college degree, and just up from the 1970s when 16 per cent of high school grads received paid mat leave.

You probably haven’t given it much thought yet, but having children is especially expensive for women. What I’m talking about is childcare. If you don’t have the luxury of paid maternity leave and need to go back to work to pay rent, there’s a high cost associated with someone else watching your kids.

Folbre points out that in most other developed countries, paid family leave (often for either parent) is a universal entitlement. Childcare and early childhood education is also more heavily subsidized elsewhere. While in my own country (Canada) things are more funded by the government, there is still progress that needs to be made when it comes to affordable childcare.

So when you’re watching the Republican primaries and heading to the ballot box in 2012 it’s something to think about. Yeah, you might be okay with your higher education, but what about all the other women who have been left behind?

Leah is on the final lap of her Bachelor of Journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto. She spent the summer interning at a radio station in Ghana. Follow her @ElleandBee

Leah W - Ryerson UniversityCOLLEGECANDY Writer