Introduction
Parents, babies, work, career … How much depends on successful integration of professional and family duties – a family’s material status, a child’s development, psychological climate in a family, in a work collective, in the state, the economic development of the state, enhancement of the work efficiency.
More than 1,2 millions of mothers in Ukraine are having a maternity leave. Though both a mother and a father can take a leave, however, in 99 cases of 100, such leave is taken by a mother. It is due to the traditional distribution of family responsibilities and higher salaries earned by men, and also due to the fact that men think it to be not a man’s job, they do not know how to care about a child.
So, a mother is having a maternity leave… It is a magnificent time for bringing up a child, but mothers still have got problems.
Almost half of the women recognize that returning to work after a maternity leave is «a difficult or a very difficult process». In case of returning to the labour market, a significant number of parents encounter various difficulties, for example, loss of skills, deficit of kindergartens.
Employers are reluctant to hire young women, they accept them as temporary, unpromising employees, do not think it necessary to invest in them as in specialists. Quite common is an employer thinking that mothers lose the proper level of professional skills and habits after a continued leave. As a consequence, women get lower wages, slower climb the career ladder, have a lower level of the economic independence and a limited access to the financial resources and decision making. According to the data of the State Statistic Service of Ukraine, in 2012, the women’s average salary made 77,6% of the men’s one.
The «Back to Work: Reintegration of Parents to Professional Life after the Maternity/Parental Leave» Project is aimed at solving problems of parents. The Project is implemented by the All-Ukrainian Non-Government Organization, League of Social Workers of Ukraine, co-funded by the EU Delegation to Ukraine, within 2012-2015.
According to the results of the study conducted within the framework of the Project, the reasons for infringement of the rights of working parents include the employees’ low awareness about their rights, lack of competence in their protection, and the absence of the society’s response to the infringement of rights. At the same time, the public awareness of the problem and suggestions regarding its solution will contribute to improvement of efficiency in implementation of social programs. That is why the «Back to Work...» Project endeavours to attract the public attention to this problem and arouse the stir among the public about infringement of the rights of working parents, using mass-communication tools, in particular, social advertising. The mission of the social advertising is to generate the society’s behavioural models. The life practice proves that the state has to spend on preventive measures much less than on labour-intensive, and sometimes not very effective work aimed at solving the problems already existing.
A demand for the social advertising-information activity must be created in the society. At the same time, such activity cannot be detached from the educational and practical social work, otherwise it will fail to provide for quality changes in the public conscience.