Published On: Mon, Jan 30th, 2017

Donald Trump: Women’s Rights and Pregnancy in the Workplace

The 45th president of the USA, Donald Trump, is making waves with the executive orders he is signing.

On 20 January 2017, Donald J. Trump took office as the 45th president of the United States of America. Some think this event was a glorious occasion (America will become great again), while others are holding their heads in despair wondering what on earth will happen to the global freedoms and equalities that were granted during Barack Obama’s tenure.

Human rights and equality for all

Simple freedoms such as equal rights for all, irrespective of race, colour, gender, and creed are no longer guaranteed. Trump is opposed to marriage equality, his cabinet has drawn attention for its high numbers of white, male members, and amongst other issues, he has, and continues to be highly criticised for his eagerness to reduce the quality of life for women in general.

One of the first executive orders Trump signed was an order banning federal money going to international organisations that provide information on and perform abortions. What signals is he sending to, firstly the people of America, and secondly, to the rest of the world?

Twitter was abuzz after a photo of Trump signing the order with a group of white men standing around him went viral. Comments such as “men making decisions about women’s bodies”, “all the people in this picture seem eminently qualified to determine WOMEN’s healthcare. NOT‘, and “as long as you’ll live, you will never see a photograph of 7 women standing around a table signing legislation about what men can do with their reproductive organs.”

Before people get upset and think that I am for or against abortion, it should be noted that the purpose of this article is not to discuss the pros and cons of abortion, it is merely noting Donald Trump’s general stance on women, LGBT people, and anyone who does not fit his mould of an ideal US citizen.

Pregnancy in the workplace

According to Rachael Revesz, Donald Trump said “pregnancy is an inconvenience in the workplace… being pregnant is wonderful – unless you want to keep your job… Being pregnant is an inconvenience for employers and maybe women should feel pressure to come back to work soon after childbirth to retain their jobs.”  His own staff stave off telling him that they are pregnant in case he finds a way to replace them while they are on maternity leave.

Where does this leave pregnant women and nursing mothers? How do we balance the rights of women and children with the need to work to provide an income for the family? The reality is that women need to work to support their families. We can’t expect them to stay at home and look after their children while they starve because there is no money to buy food and clothing.

Do women have the right to fall pregnant and work at the same time? Do they have the right to enough maternity leave to nurse their babies until they can be weaned? Do children have the right to stay with their mothers for the first months of their lives? Do women have a right to be comfortable when they are sleeping or when they are working? I believe that they do. As an aside, here is a pregnancy pillow from allaboutmom to help you work and sleep as comfortably as possible.

Final words

There are so many unanswered questions around women, pregnancy, and unborn children; however, I believe the overriding question should be whether we believe in equal rights for every single person on this planet. If we do not believe in equal rights for all, then, in my opinion, the world is heading for trouble!

Author: Lolita Di

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