Tuesday, May 29

So You Want Me to Breed?

In Canada, I'm the problem. Thirty-something. Childless. And a threat to Canada's future economic well being. The nation's fertility rate has plummeted to 1.53 children per woman, and Maclean's has published the latest cry of alarm...

The Maclean's story goes on to crunch the economic equation such women face -- and believe me, I've done the numbers myself.
The cost of a kid ranges from $260,000 to $1.6 million depending on whom you talk to. Women lose income when they have a child, unlike men, the "motherhood penalty," of about 20 per cent per year. Kids are the "new glass ceiling," only 74 per cent of women who leave the work force are able to return, and only 40 per cent of those return to full time, professional jobs. Mothers are 44 percent less likely to be hired than non-mothers with the same resume, experiences and qualifications. So not surprisingly, while the majority of male senior execs have kids, the majority of female execs don't. In short, women bear the costs -- financial and career -- of having children. "These days, it's not just a matter of a woman wanting children, it's a matter wanting them at the expense of everything else she's worked for."

Contradictory messages about women's fertility are breeding like rabbits this week. In largely-Catholic Brazil, the government is subsidizing birth control pills so poor women can afford the contraceptive, despite a recent visit by Pope Benedict XVI, who mainly used his time to condemn abortion, contraception and sex outside marriage. In China, officials are rounding up rural, pregnant women and conducting forced abortions to enforce the mandatory one child policy.

LINK: Read entire story at the Tyee

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