The paper aims to question working women’s alleged freedom of choice about managing maternity leave. In particular, it suggests that the increased «availability» of this right, foreseen in the Italian Budget Law 2019 (No. 145/2018) – which allows standard workers to enjoy the period of compulsory paid leave entirely after childbirth – runs the risk of not protecting women, since cultural and economic conditions subtly interfere with female decisions. In this sense, flexibility can also expose working mothers to stigmatization and marginalization.
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