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Parental leave global comparison: US still among least generous

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Ann Hermes / The Christian Science Monitor

(Read caption) Parental leave policy in the US is not guaranteed. Ingrid Ahlgren ( ), a New York City mom, leaves her child Annika Liu with the baby's great-grandmother Rita Cheong when she's at work.

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There’s a factoid that regularly comes up when we report about childcare costs  or work-life balance or any number of the policy-related topics that impact American moms and dads. 

The United States., advocates will say, is one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to maternity leave.  (And paternity leave, for that matter.) 

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It’s the only developed country that doesn’t guarantee some form of paid leave to new moms, they say, and it’s one of only a very few even when you include impoverished and developing countries. One recent report, for instance, identified only four nations – the US, Swaziland, Liberia, and Papua New Guinea – that do not guarantee a new mom income while she stays home with her baby. 


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