#ThrowbackThursday: International Women’s Day Poster from Macedonia (Date Unknown)

Macedonian International Women's Day Poster (Flamingo Group)

Macedonian International Women’s Day Poster (Flamingo Group)

Happy International Women’s Day! The poster above is from Macedonia, and I couldn’t find out the original date behind it. The text on the poster reads (italics from the source):

8 March is not the day of the fairer sex, 8 March is the international reminder of the struggle for economic, political and societal equality of women. The fight against contemporary patriarchy is not over: the World Economic Forum predicts that the gender gap will not close until 2133!

The history behind International Women’s Day is fascinating! The history of the day stems from Socialist roots: The first observance was in New York in 1909, and was put on by the Socialist Party of America. Russia officially began marking the day in 1917, and became a non-working day in 1965. The United Nations adopted the day in 1975.

Even if you’re not wearing red or purple today, be sure to take a moment and reflect on the women in your life and the world over.

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The Philippines Might Get Access to Free Birth Control

Birth control pills (Salon)

Birth control pills (Salon)

Women in the Philippines might soon get access to free birth control.

The Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order for women of the country to receive free birth control, as well as access to further reproductive health services.

The order implements the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Act of 2012, which promotes family planning with the support of the state. It was signed into law that year. The order took 13 years to be signed into law (so it was introduced in 1999…yikes).

It’s estimated that there are currently 6M women without birth control within the country, with 2M women classified as poor. There are 24 live births per every 1K people, giving the country the 66th highest birth rate in the world. Considering that abortion is illegal, the need for some form of birth control is high:

More than half of all pregnancies in the Philippines are unintended, according to the Guttmacher Institute, and more than 90 percent of unintended pregnancies occurred in the absence of modern contraceptive methods.

Duterte’s goal is to completely eradicate any “unmet family planning needs” by 2018.

Trends: Companies Expanding Maternity/Paternity Leave Policies

Netflix 2014 logo (Under Consideration)

Netflix 2014 logo (Under Consideration)

A very positive trend has sprung up recently: Companies are their expanding parental leave policies. The main goal is to recruit more women with work-life balance policies, and to retain talent by allowing time off for family matters. Because trouble at home often means distracted employees and lower productivity. (I feel like that’s on a modern-day Mather Work Incentive poster somewhere.)

Big strides have been made this year: Consulting powerhouse Accenture bumped up its maternity leave policy to 16 weeks in March, which applies to both full-time and part-time employees. In April, Johnson & Johnson announced a new eight-week paid leave policy. In June, major bank Goldman Sachs began offering new fathers and “non-primary caregivers” four weeks of paid leave. (The company currently offers 16 weeks of paid maternity leave.) The U.S. Navy and Marines mandated an 18-week maternity leave policy, effective immediately, in July.

This trend has become especially prevalent in the tech industry, with a lot of changes occurring just this past month. In August, Microsoft recently announced a new parental leave policy, in which employees would get paid at 100% of their salary for 12 weeks. New mothers will have eight weeks of paid maternity leave, which, combined with disability leave, could entitle them to 20 weeks of paid leave.

Adobe’s policy also changed: Mothers will now receive 26 weeks of paid leave, up from the nine weeks off from the previous policy. It’ll be a combination of medical leave (10 weeks) and paternal leave (16 weeks).

Netflix announced they’re bumping up their maternity and paternity leave policies to an unlimited amount of time. New mothers and fathers are allowed to take as much time off as they like during a child’s first year, whether though birth or adoption. (Netflix isn’t a stranger to expanding time off: Employees already get unlimited vacation time.) But the policy isn’t all inclusive: It only applies toward salaried employees, so hourly workers aren’t able to take advantage of it.

It’ll be interesting to see if (when) other companies follow suit, and if paid parental leave will eventually be federally mandated. These are definitely steps in the right direction.