What a wonderfully progressive country:
For nearly four decades, [Swedish] governments of all political hues have legislated to give women equal rights at work — and men equal rights at home.
Swedish mothers still take more time off with children — almost four times as much.
Companies have come to expect employees to take leave irrespective of gender, and not to penalize fathers at promotion time.
Women’s paychecks are benefiting and the shift in fathers’ roles is perceived as playing a part in lower divorce rates and increasing joint custody of children.
But laws reserving at least two months of the generously paid, 13-month parental leave exclusively for fathers — a quota that could well double after the September election — have set off profound social change.
A study published by the Swedish Institute of Labor Market Policy Evaluation in March showed, for instance, that a mother’s future earnings increase on average 7 percent for every month the father takes leave.
How wonderful would it be to live in a country like that?
European countries are at the forefront for paternity leave, and I really glom on the fact about how a mother’s future earnings increase an average of 7% for every month the father takes leave.
This would help balance not only women’s lives, but men’s as well.
And other countries are following suit:
Portugal is the only country where paternity leave is mandatory — but only for a week. Iceland has arguably gone furthest, reserving three months for father, three months for mother and allowing parents to share another three months.
The trend is, however, no longer limited to small countries.
Germany, with nearly 82 million people, in 2007 tweaked Sweden’s model, reserving two out of 14 months of paid leave for fathers.
Within two years, fathers taking parental leave surged from 3 percent to more than 20 percent.
I think it’s fabulous.