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Obama on family and work policy - if France can, why can't we?

Published on Jun 24, 2014 6:25 AM
 
US President Barack Obama speaks during the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, 2014 at a hotel in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama on Monday lamented that America was on its “lonesome” as the only developed nation not to offer paid maternity leave, as he called for a new family-friendly 21st Century workplace. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama on Monday lamented that America was on its “lonesome” as the only developed nation not to offer paid maternity leave, as he called for a new family-friendly 21st Century workplace.

Mr Obama headlined a “Working Families Summit” in Washington and flexed his presidential powers to direct government agencies to adopt more flexible workplace practices to allow parents to manage home and professional commitments.

“Other countries know how to do this. If France can figure this out, we can figure it out,” Mr Obama said, calling for a new approach to maternity and family leave, and early childhood education.

“There is only one developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave,” Mr Obama told a supportive crowd at a Washington hotel. “That is us. And that is not the list you want to be on by your lonesome.”

 
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