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Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg in call to help working mothers

Sheryl Sandberg Image copyright Getty Images

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg has made a US Mother's Day call for the government to do more for working women.

The social media giant's chief operating officer called for a higher minimum wage, paid family leave and affordable childcare.

Some 40% of US households with children rely on a woman as the key breadwinner, she said in a Facebook post.

"It's time for our public policies to catch up with what our families deserve and what our values demand," she said.

Ms Sandberg, an influential voice in corporate America, is one of the wealthiest American women with a net worth estimated at $1.38bn.

She wrote on Sunday that the US government and employers must do more to help parents, especially single mothers, who are struggling to provide for their children while assuring their safety and well-being.

The widowed mother of two said: "We all have a responsibility to help mothers as well as fathers balance their responsibilities at work and home."

One of the most important actions the government could take is to help millions of families living near the poverty line by raising the federal minimum wage, she said.

"Childcare for two children exceeds the median annual rent in all 50 states. How are parents supposed to work if they don't have a safe and affordable place to leave their kids?"

Lean In

She continued: "We need paid leave. The United States is one of the only developed countries in the world that doesn't guarantee paid family leave - and we're the only developed country in the world without paid maternity leave.

"That means many moms are forced to return to work right after giving birth to keep their jobs."

She concluded: "I hope we can also use this day to commit to do more for all the mothers who have given so much and deserve even more."

Ms Sandberg's message was accompanied by a picture of her with her mother and mother-in-law on the day of her wedding to former SurveyMonkey chief executive Dave Goldberg, who died in 2015.

In her book Lean In, she encouraged women to be more ambitious in the workplace. Following Mr Goldberg's death, she co-wrote the book Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy that was published this year.

President Donald Trump's daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump has publicly stated her support for paid maternity leave. However, Republicans have resisted proposals to raise such benefits, including increasing the national minimum wage.

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