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'51 years to shared parental leave': report

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 3 Mar 2010, 07:47

Published: 03 Mar 2010 07:47 GMT+01:00

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The proportion of fathers taking out parental leave has stagnated over the past three years, according to the annual Pappa index published by the TCO union.

Dads currently take 22 percent of the allotted days available for parents to take care of their children, a rise of barely one percent since 2008. The report concludes that it will take 51 years at the current rate for the days to be split equally.

"The Pappa index is rising much slower than in the beginning of the 2000s," TCO chairperson Sture Nordh said.

The figures show significant variations, with Kronoberg achieving parity in 24 years at current rates of change, while Västmanland can expect to wait six centuries.

"The goal of having more dads taking parental leave has to be strongly prioritized and achieved much faster," Nordh said.

Nordh argued that it is important that the workplace showed flexibility towards parents of small children.

"It is important for children to form a strong bond with their fathers and it is important that the workplace is adjusted for parents - dads and mums - of small children, who have a joint responsibility for their children," Nordh said.

The index is a combination of the share of the total number of parental leave days taken as well as the proportion of men who take parental leave, where an index value of 100 represents the equal sharing of leave between parents.

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As in 2008 the county with the highest index value is Västerbottern in northern Sweden with 46.4 and the lowest is Skåne in the far south with 34.4.

The Swedish system of parental leave allows for a total of 480 days' leave per child which can used up until the child starts school at seven. 60 of these days are reserved for each parent, while the other days can be disposed of as the parents deem fit.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:08 March 3, 2010 by La
But in 51 years time it will still be only women who can breastfeed, and if the equality-without common sense-fans like it or not, this is is best for the child.
09:19 March 3, 2010 by xavidx
Seems like there is a lot of gender news now days. And alot of sensless stuff like this article.

Its like they are trying to push the ideas on the people. I have never talked to a person that agrees with this stuff. Its only the polititians that are pushing it and the media just plays along.

Freedom of choice. And that is currently achieved. Everyone wins

If the woman wants to work and the dad wants to stay home. Everyone is happy

if the man wants to work and the woman wants to stay home. Everyone is happy

If the man wants to work and the woman wants to work. perhaps split the time. Compromise like everything else in marriage. Same goes if they both want to stay home.

Every family is different. Let them work it out how they want to raise their kids. Dont need the government and media pushing the issue all the time.
13:44 March 3, 2010 by manamind
I dont see breastfeeding has anything to do with it. What a ridiculous suggestion. Is that an argument for women having more rights, or men having less? Or if a woman cannot breast feed, is she any less of a mother. Ridiculous femmo claptrap
13:49 March 3, 2010 by LailaC1
...and 150 years for the rest of Europe to catch up!
16:28 March 3, 2010 by Curious Expat
Some countries will need so long that plate tectonics will have moved them far away before this happens :-)

But seriously:

It is strange how people interpret cultural differences as the other place being behind on some scale of development and only needing to catch up.

Not something that happens only in Sweden, but Swedes can be quite good a it.
22:22 March 3, 2010 by scanbyheri
I hear in America, men are already brest feeding - they are way ahead of us here, they have acheived absolute equality - except in the birthing area but the men really don't want to do that anyway, it is more fun to drink beer and video tape the event and show it at the local pub for more free beer
13:58 March 4, 2010 by johnnyrebel
Once upon a time it was the mother who stayed home to raise the child...and there was no discussion about it. It just seemed natural.
05:26 March 24, 2010 by ahanderson
Ehmmmm......its funny how the government tells the parents how they should spend their time. It is up to the couple, not the government to decide how many days they want to stay home with their child. Just strange to me. Its ok for the government to offer this option, however, if men prefer working and women stay at home..so let it be. This is a private matter between the man and the woman.
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