Published: August 27, 2020


Ruppanner, L. (2020). Motherlands: How States in the US Push Mothers Out of Employment. Temple University Press.

Author:

Leah Ruppanner


Abstract:

In the absence of federal legislation, each state in the United States has its own policies regarding family leave, job protection for women, and childcare. No wonder working mothers encounter such a significant disparity when it comes to childcare resources in America! Whereas conservative states like Nebraska offer affordable, readily available, and high quality childcare, progressive states that advocate for women’s economic and political power, like California, have expensive childcare, shorter school days, and mothers who are more likely to work part-time or drop out of the labor market altogether to be available for their children.

In Motherlands, Leah Ruppanner cogently argues that states should look to each other to fill their policy voids. She provides suggestions and solutions for policy makers interested in supporting working families. Whether a woman lives in a state with stronger childcare or gender empowerment regimes, at stake is mothers’ financial dependence on their partners.

Ruppanner advocates for reducing the institutional barriers mothers face when re-entering the workforce. As a result, women would have greater autonomy in making employment decisions following childbirth.