Meghan Markle writes passionate letter on paid family leave


Meghan Markle writes in Washington.

Today, the Duchess of Sussex issued an open letter to Senator Chuck Schumer and MP Nancy Pelosi pleading for paid leave, a federal guarantee that parents can take paid leave after fostering a child. Currently, the Duchess wrote, America faces an invisible crisis regarding women and child care: “Over the past 20 months, the pandemic has exposed long-standing fault lines in our communities. At an alarming rate, millions of women have left the workforce, staying at home with their children while schools and daycares were closed and caring for their loved ones full time, ”she wrote. . “The working mother or parent faces the conflict of being present or being paid. The sacrifice of one or the other comes at a high cost.

She spoke about her own financial struggles, describing her first job at a local frozen yogurt store at age 13 and the subsequent odd jobs she took to stay afloat. “I worked my whole life and saved when and where I could – but even that was a luxury – because it was usually about making ends meet and having enough to pay my rent and put gasoline in my car, ”she wrote. Decades later, Markle admits, she was in a much more privileged position when welcoming her own children. But she remembers what those early days were like and considers the unfair choices she likely would have faced had she had children during that time. “No family should be faced with these decisions. No family should have to choose between earning a living and having the freedom to care for their child, ”she wrote. “Many of our economic systems are past their expiration date. “

The letter comes at a crucial time: President Biden and other Democratic leaders recently cut funding for a nationwide paid vacation program for families in the “Build Back Better” budget reconciliation bill.

America is one of the few developed countries in the world that does not have guaranteed paid parental leave. In fact, less than one in four workers benefit from it in their company. The problem was exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, when daycares closed and schools sent children home to learn from a distance. As of March 2021, 2.5 million women had left the labor market, according to the Ministry of Labor, with minority female populations being the hardest hit.

As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex begin their American activism in earnest, it looks like this will be one of their main causes. Meghan Markle posted the letter through the Paid Leave for All website, which is the national campaign organization for family and medical leave. Additionally, the Duchess will partner with Marshall Plan for Moms and PL + US, two other paid vacation groups, to continue her advocacy work.

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