Women, work and elder care: The family and medical leave debate

Suzanne E. England, Beatrice T. Naulleau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


First introduced in 1984, Family and Medical Leave (FML) legislation would provide some measure of job protection to those who interrupt their employment to provide care for ill or dependent relatives. The original proposals were for 'parental' leave but, as bills and laws evolved, leave to care for an elderly relative began to be included. Opponents of FML object to further regulation of employee benefits and, partly because the groups promoting FML have not found a common and persuasive voice, have been relatively successful in preventing passage or in watering down FML's impact. Comparison of the messages to constituents of two advocacy groups for the elderly, the Older Women's League and the American Association for Retired Persons, illustrates the contradictions and points to the need to come to terms with the conflicts inherent in the ideology of caring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-107
Number of pages17
JournalWomen and Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 3 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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