Advances in the educational and occupational status of women in the United States over the past quarter century have greatly expanded the participation of women in the workforce. However, economic and social changes in women’s lives have put pressure on traditional family roles and on the political system to respond to the problems families face balancing work and family responsibilities. Initiatives for paid family leave in Massachusetts reflect the newfound political strength of women in politics — as leaders of political organizations, as elected officials, and as voters — and the willingness of the state’s political elite to grapple with legislation designed to respond to those pressures. Gender politics has shaped the debate over paid family leave in part because the first woman governor in the state’s history has herself faced the dilemma of combining her professional work life with care for newborn and young children.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.