Tuesday, October 25, 2011
From the New York Times:
In Sweden, men pushing strollers — sometimes in twos or threes — have become part of the landscape. Baby changing stations are typically found in both men's and women's restrooms. Brawny men with Viking tattoos can be overheard discussing their "pappaledighet," Swedish for daddy leave, over a pint in the pub.
Parents share 480 days of paid parental leave for each child, courtesy of the government. The benefits amount to 80 percent of the stay-at-home parent's salary for the first 390 days, but no more than 910 kronor ($135) a day. Thereafter the amount drops to 180 kronor ($30) a day for the remaining period.
Mothers are still taking more leave than fathers, but things are changing. In 2000, Swedish men took out only 12.4 percent of the parental leave; by last year their share had nearly doubled to 23.1 percent, according to government statistics.
Though there is widespread agreement that the gap should close even more, Swedes so far have resisted calls by women's rights activists for a compulsory 50-50 split.
Read more here.