Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Attitudes About Paternity Leave

The BBC reports on one Japanese official's attempt to change attitudes about leave time for the birth of a child.

A district mayor in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, is going on paternity leave on Saturday, the first local government leader ever to do so. Hironobu Narisawa, the mayor of the central Bunkyo ward, said he was aiming to change attitudes.

Japanese workers are famously reluctant to take time off after the birth of a child even though Japanese law allows either parent to have up to a year off. No other local government leader, male or female, has taken time off after the birth of a child. Nationwide, just one in 100 fathers takes any paternity leave.

Traditional gender roles remain entrenched in Japan, one reason why the birth rate is among the lowest in the world. The population is projected to shrink by a quarter by the middle of the century.

Now maybe some fathers in this country will start doing the same!

Read more here.


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