Stay At Home Dads

I am getting rather intrigued by some of the ideas coming from the Moderate Party right now. One of their ideas is for more fathers to stay at home longer to look after the children.

Sweden as you can imagine has some very social policies when it comes to maternity/paternity leave. However it is still the woman who uses up the lions share of the time off than the man.

The Swedish government in an attempt to get men and women to take equal amounts of time off will introduce the ‘equality bonus’, this is in the form of a financial incentive. A good idea but what is even more fascinating is the Moderates want to go even further and give a bigger bonus if the father takes more time off than the mother.

This sort of tinkering with policies aimed at gender equality (or in this case creating an imbalance which favours women) fascinates me. 

Why?

Well its all new to me, I think the UK has come a long way in terms of womens rights but a lot of it is still lip service I think. The Swedes on the other hand are coming up with lots of ways to try and make everything equal. This kind of social engineering reminds me of the works of Aldous Huxley  and particularly Brave New World.

I think what fascinates me right now is the Moderates are the Conservatives in Sweden and this is not the sort of policy you would expect the Tories to come up with.

Do I agree with it?

Not really, I am more aligned with the thinking of classic liberalism as I am more interested in policies tówards the individual rather than towards a person just because they are male or female. Its fascinating stuff though and it’s actually refreshing to see new political ideas coming through rather than the rehashed policies from the British Parties.

Todays Swedish Word of the Day is barn -child/children. I think this maybe where the Geordie and Scottish word ‘bairn’ may come from? A word left over from Viking rule perhaps?

5 Responses

  1. I dont agree with this policy either as it is in essence blackmail.
    I can sympathise why they want more dads to take paternity leave but this is trying too hard.

  2. Tricky one this. Women need the time off work to recover physically from the trauma of giving birth and also to facilitate effective breastfeeding. It took me at least 6 months to recover from my son’s birth. Even if we could have shared the maternity leave, I wasn’t ready to go back to work at 6 months.

    What would help (and probably Sweden is ahead here) is a general acceptance of flexible working practices for everyone with a recognition that people have responsibilities outside the workplace. These responsibilities may not be to care for a young child.

  3. Yes you are right there is a lot more flexibility in Sweden. I think it really is dependent on the individual.

    I know someone professionally who went back to work a month after giving birth.

    I just dont like the idea of giving more incentives for fathers to take more leave than the mother, or vice versa for that matter. It should be a decision that the family make and not the State.

    Here is an interesting link that shows the different maternity/paternity leave in different countries:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parental_leave

  4. One month? Blimey. I was in no fit state after one month. The thing is, it is very hard to go back so soon without full time help at home. Babies just don’t know the meaning of night and sleep at that age!

  5. I bow down to your superior knowledge, I am nowhere near being in this situtation which wont surpise you Rebecca.

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