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The theme of this symposium, "Reconstructing Motherhood," requires an examination of laws designed to further traditional motherhood roles. Societal constructs of motherhood-women as child bearers and nurturers-have profoundly affected women's involvement in paid employment. Conversely, women's participation in paid employment affects how women experience motherhood. For example, a woman who does not work outside the home has a dramatically different mothering experience than a woman who works outside the home and leaves her children with a day-care provider. The legal system can affect the relationship between motherhood and employment opportunities for women by means of employment laws and policies. Sometimes protective legislation is enacted in view of women's unique role as potential and actual mothers. Studying forms of protective legislation in different countries can help us to think about ways of reconstructing motherhood.

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Southern California Review of Law and Women Studies



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