Many American mothers cannot afford to take unpaid family leave
Senators Barack Obama and John McCain have been fighting hard for women's votes in these US presidential elections. McCain even selected Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska for his ticket. And Obama has made a point of addressing issues that are crucial to women voters.

Today, many working mothers struggle with finding a balance between work and home. The US is the only industrialised country which does not guarantee any income support during family leave. Currently, working mothers have up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn. But since it is unpaid, nearly 80 per cent of workers cannot afford to take it, while countries like Norway and Sweden provide a year or more of paid leave.
 
Across the US, some states are trying to pass paid leave. And women's groups are taking action to make it an issue in this year's presidential race.
 
We the People travels to the child-friendly city of Portland, Oregon, where a group of mothers are fighting to balance work and family.

Watch part one:



Watch part two:



This episode of We the People airs from Monday, October 06, 2008 at the following times GMT:
Monday: 0130
Tuesday: 1430
Wednesday: 0730
Thursday: 1030
Friday: 2030
Saturday: 1730
Sunday: 0430

Source: Al Jazeera