Around the world, however, most employed women automatically get paid maternity leave. And in most wealthy countries, they also have access to affordable child care.
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These holes in the national safety net are a problem for many reasons, including one I've been researching with my colleagues for years: Paid parental leave and child care help women stay in the workforce and earn higher wages over time. This lack of parental leave and child care may explain why the U.S. is no longer a leader in women's workforce participation.