September 21, 2021

Duckworth Discusses Working Families Policy, Path to Politics at Chicago Humanities Festival


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) tonight discussed how becoming a mother impacted her as a legislator, the importance of supporting policies for woman and working families and the need for diverse voices in politics and beyond as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival. In this virtual event, Duckworth spoke with Chicago Humanities Festival Artistic Director Alison Cuddy about the current legislation she’s working on to support working families, women’s reproductive rights as well as other current events.

“I think becoming a mother changed me and my causes, and I think that’s why representation matters,” Duckworth said. “That’s why diversity in elected office matters. That’s why diversity in the Pentagon matters, and why diversity in C-suites in corporations matters. Because I was very much a Veterans and national security person, yes, I was a Democrat with progressive values, but family leave and breastfeeding were not anything I knew about other than supporting those causes.”

Throughout her time in the Senate, Duckworth has introduced and supported a number of policies to help working families, including her Support Through Loss Act, which would raise awareness about pregnancy loss and establish new paid leave benefits for workers experiencing painful challenges while seeking to grow their family. In this year’s Senate Committee-passed National Defense Authorization Act, Duckworth authored a provision to allow members of the Armed Forces to take up to a total of 12 weeks paid parental leave across the one year period following the birth of a child, the adoption of a child or placement of a minor child for foster care. Last year, her Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Improvement Act, which built upon her Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act, was signed into law, ensuring all airports across the country support nursing moms and promote breastfeeding-friendly environments.