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jemima kirke will do anything to get paid family leave

Even if it means blowing Ted Cruz.

by Alice Newell-Hanson
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Dec 15 2015, 8:44pm

"Did you know that the US is the only developed nation in the entire world that doesn't offer paid family leave?" asks Milla Jovovich, in a new video PSA released today by the advocacy group American Women. Her partners in outrage include Jemima Kirke, Kathleen Hanna and Maggie Gyllenhaal (plus some pretty awesome dudes - shoutout to you, Joe Caputo).

The video, produced by i-D fave Sarah Sophie Flicker, comes ahead of tonight's GOP debate and encourages women to raise their voices and demand legislation guaranteeing paid family leave.

Because, here's the thing: while it may be a legal requirement for employers in countries from the UK to Oman to Pakistan (again, that's EVERY industrialized country bar the US) to provide it, only 13% of workers in the US have access to paid family leave.

That means, as one recent op-ed put it, that "you're left to choose between raising your kids and being able to afford them. That's a pretty shitty choice to have to make."

As the video explains, parents need to bond with their kids after childbirth or adoption, "and it's really hard to do that when you might lose your job, or not be able to pay your rent unless you go back to work." The lack of paid family leave gives some families no choice but to rack up debts and even face bankruptcy. Milla: "Is that how we prioritize families in this country?"

Kathleen Hanna has one idea for persuading policymakers to enact change. "Here's what I want to know," she says, "who do I have to [bleep] to get some paid family leave around here?" She - and Maggie and Milla and Jemima - are ready to [bleep] Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul if they have to. But please don't let that happen. Instead, make your voice heard by adding your name at americanwomen.org.

And know this: out of all the many, many Republican presidential candidates, not one has a comprehensive plan to provide working parents with paid time off to care for their families. You don't have to blow the senate - use your vote to help change it.

Credits


Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Photography Katie McCurdy