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Susan Cody: Will Spain's Minister of Defense take her 16 weeks Maternity Leave? And Should She?

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Carme Chacon - Spain's Minister of Defense is 7 months pregnant and has the opportunity to take her 16 weeks paid leave that Spain offers.

Some are now wondering if she should go ahead and take these 4 months off - considering she has one of the most important jobs in the country.

As one person in the following article suggests - she can still be consulted over the phone, via email and web cam meetings - she doesn't lose her brain or her ability to communicate because she just had a baby. Once she has recovered from childbirth and is adjusting (a couple of months) then she can consider checking in once a day.

Or not. Maternity leave is maternity leave. She is entitled to it for four months, regardless.

No government is fully dependent on one person to do a particular job. Everyone has a right-hand-woman or man. Nobody should ever be allowed to be indispensable. I'm sure she has a back up and she has 9 months to prepare!

I hope she does take the full 16 weeks and enjoys the time to be with her baby. Childbirth is hard and so are the first 6 weeks. Really hard. Spain won't fall apart due to maternity leave. Besides, what's the difference between her taking this leave and a man taking time off for surgery and recovery? That happens all the time (Dick Chaney) and no-one says a word.

Click this link for a great photo of her inspecting the troops in all her pregnant glory!


And tell us -
What do you think of this story? Should America have paid maternity leave like all other industrialized nations? Why is America the only one who doesn't? What would you like to see changed?

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