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Some people consider the most important and rewarding job is to be a parent. However, for women, this job requires additional responsibility in the form of maternity leave. Now, some of you may believe that maternity leave is a fun vacation to spend time with a baby, but maternity leave is not all it seems. In Canada, maternity leave is a period of “up to 17 weeks… of unpaid time of work” Governmet of Ontario). My mother has two children, and she received nine months off for her first baby and six months for all second, and she was not paid for all of these months. When my mother returned to her job, it was as if she was starting over. She had no control over her location, chance for promotion, or information about her standing. Women in other fields of work have a more difficult return to work. For example, a doctor would loose all past clients and have to start fresh. Not all women choose to go on maternity leave or have children at all, and it may appear as though these women are avoiding complications. This is not the case. A sexist stereotype associated with women is that women must have children and raise them. This includes giving up a career and a life in order to do so. If a women does not decide to go on maternity leave, or have children at all, that women is judged for not completing her legitimate “job”. Maternity leave is a process that all of the mothers in my life experienced. It is a process that my friends and I will experience, or perhaps we will be judged for deciding against it.

 

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