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This essay argues that international law binds the United States to adopt comprehensive policy providing accessible and affordable child care as a right of women. Women disproportionately assume the responsibility of unpaid and undervalued child care and therefore are impeded from full participation in public life. These discriminatory effects compound for minority women. Despite its wealth, the United States is outside the mainstream of international morality and out of bounds of its obligations under the American Declaration, ICCPR, ICERD, and customary international law. This essay employs intersectionality analysis and the due diligence principle to add missing texture to the significance of this debate for the United States. The plan proposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren in her 2020 bid for president meets the United States’ affirmative obligations. In adopting this plan, the United States would also align with its allies and advance its own economic, political, and security interests.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
7 Sep 2022
372 kB



  • Subject
    • Civil Rights and Discrimination

    • Domestic Law

    • Gender

    • International Law

    • Law and Society

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Law Review

  • Volume
    • 63

  • Issue
    • 9

  • Pagination
    • E.Supp. I.-13

  • Date submitted

    7 September 2022