Guardian US launches The Mother Load

This week, Guardian US launched a fundraising initiative to support The Mother Load, a new editorial project exploring what makes motherhood in America more challenging than in any other developed country – and what we can do about it.

Guardian US launches The Mother Load

The Mother Load will seek to illustrate the many ways the US is an outlier when it comes to supporting parents. The US is the only country in the developed world that doesn’t have mandatory maternity leave. The high cost of childcare in the US means many women leave the workforce to look after their kids. America also has the worst maternal death rate in the developed world, says the Guardian.

A network of the Guardian’s global correspondents will explore how other countries have solved many of these problems, and offer solutions to the challenges faced by American families.

The Mother Load launches with four stories, including:

* Where did you go, Ivanka? How the first daughter’s family leave plan fizzled by political reporter Sabrina Siddiqui

* Maternity leave is like a vacation, right? A feminist comic by the French comic artist Emma

* A story about Finland: the only country where dads spend more time with kids than moms by reporter Alexandra Topping

* The Mother Load: America is failing mothers. Help us change that

The Guardian will ask readers to support the four-month series by making contributions. The Mother Load builds on the success of the Guardian’s two previous reader-funded campaigns in 2017, including This Land is Your Land, a series on the growing threat to America’s public lands, and Break the Cycle, a project exploring solutions to America’s gun violence crisis. This Land is Your Land raised a total of $114k for the Guardian and Break the Cycle has raised $45k since its launch last month. The campaigns expand the Guardian’s coverage of the pressing social justice issues our audience is most passionate about, says the Guardian.

Jane Spencer, deputy editor of Guardian US, said: “America’s lack of support for mothers and parents is unconscionable, from short maternity leave to soaring childcare costs. Many other developed countries have solved these problems—and solutions are within our grasp. We’re asking Guardian readers to help us dial up the pressure on politicians and corporate leaders by supporting our coverage and helping us drive a conversation.”

Guardian US aims to harness its significant social media reach to build an engaged community around the project, and will invite readers to participate. One column, “How we make it work” will feature readers sharing their strategies for making their relationships more equal when it comes to parenting duties.

Reader contributions are a growing source of revenue for the Guardian, alongside advertising and philanthropic partnerships. Globally, the Guardian says it now receives more revenue from readers than from advertisers.

Links / further reading: The Mother Load