Anne Hathaway Nails How Lack of Paid Parental Leave Hurts Not Only Women

March 9th 2017

Almie Rose

Wearing a fiery red dress on International Women's Day on Wednesday, Anne Hathaway delivered a fiery speech about paid parental leave — and how the lack of it hurts American men as well as women.

Anne Hathaway UN

The U.N. goodwill ambassador, spoke to the United Nations about the challenges parents face under America's current parental leave policies, highlighting two main points: the current system is failing parents, and paid parental leave shouldn't only be a woman's issue.

"The United States offers 12 weeks of unpaid leave for mothers," TIME magazine reports. The actress explained that in the U.S. there's the expectation for many working parents to somehow "be back to normal in under three months without income."

America has "the worst family leave policies of any developed country," ATTN: reported in June 2015. Estonia, for example, offers "108 weeks of paid family leave and 180 weeks of protected leave." In the United States, all you're offered is protected leave, and for a mere 12 weeks.

Anne Hathaway Canva Card

Hathaway also pointed out that paid parental leave isn't solely a woman's issue.

"The assumption and common practice that women and girls look after the home and the family is a stubborn, and a very real stereotype, that not only discriminates against women, but limits men's participation and connection within the family and society."

"Why do we continue to undervalue fathers and overburden mothers?" she continued. She went on to add that in some families, there are "two daddies" asking, "how does maternity leave serve them?"

As Hathaway explained in an interview with Time, America's focus should be on paid parental leave, rather than strictly maternity leave. "Studies show that when men are able to spend time with their children, everyone is happier — the parents, the child," she said. "The conversation in America has always been about maternity leave, and there’s a healthier option."


A post shared by Anne Hathaway (@annehathaway) on

Studies have also shown that most women are unfairly penalized for taking maternity leave - it sets their careers back and contributes to the pay gap." Recent research shows that countries offering the most generous parental leave policies also have some of the highest pay gaps in the industrialized world," ATTN: reported on Feb. 17.

Hathaway's speech can hopefully shed more light on this issue so that America, in regards to parental leave, can catch up with the rest of the world.

Check out ATTN:'s video below on Anne Hathaway's moving speech on why Americans need stronger parental leave policies.

Anne Hathaway just nailed why America needs stronger parental leave.

Posted by ATTN: on Wednesday, March 8, 2017