For many people, economic policy brings to mind issues like taxes, trade, and interest rates—the subjects that dominate the financial news. Child care and family leave go into another basket typically conceived of as “women’s issues” and implicitly treated as irrelevant to economic growth and prosperity.
But this framing gets things badly wrong. About half of all workers are women, and women are the breadwinners or co-breadwinners in roughly two-thirds of families with children. Policies that affect the ability of women to work outside the home affect the ability of the economy to grow. Conversely, the failure to invest in such policies holds the economy back. And, of course, the same policies that would benefit women in the labor force would benefit men as well.This article was originally published in The American Prospect.