Finland Is Giving Men 7 Months Of Paternity Leave. Because Raising A Child Is Not Only A Mother’s Job
Finland is one of the happiest countries on earth. Not only do they have beautiful landscapes and are able to see the northern lights every other day for a major part of the year, but they also have a kick-ass government which is headed by the world’s youngest female Prime Minister. Seems very idealistic doesn’t it? Well, it is real and one day I will move there.
This decision of mine is also fuelled by the fact that the newly elected government of Finland is doing everything in its power to do away with gender bias and make their citizen’s family life easier. They have just announced that men and women will get equally paid parental leave. Both parents would get a paid leave allowance of 164 days or roughly 6.6 months. How awesome is that?
If you thought that was good news, wait till you hear the rest of the terms. Pregnant women are also entitled to one month of pregnancy paid leave and a single parent can avail the total allowance of both parents. Parents can also keep 69 days of that leave for later use.
This new law will come into effect in 2021 as the policy is still being developed by an official working group. This law is going to make the lives of families so much easier and we can only hope someday our country follows suit. Considering our population, good paternity leave will make all the difference.
Finland’s minister of social affairs and health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen said this change in policies was a “investment in the future of families and the wellbeing of families.” She also said that this change would have huge impacts on the relationship parents share with their children early on in life. However, Pekonen also admitted that this alone is not enough to solve the everyday struggles families with young children face and that a family-friendly workplace is also needed.
One of the biggest takeaways of this law is that it places the responsibility of raising the child on the shoulders of both the parents equally. In a patriarchal country like ours, where the entire onus is on the woman, paternity leave isn’t as generous. And most men barely avail of the leave, if they do at all.
Also Read: Barack Obama Says Women Are Indisputably Better At Leading Than Men. And It Couldn’t Have Come At A Better Time
Speaking at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos last month, Finland PM Sanna Marin said that states and companies should do more to ensure women were being treated fairly. She also gender equality doesn’t just happen by itself. She really is the best PM a country can have.
Talking about our own country, of course there is a generous provision for maternity leave. But paternity leave is still something we are on the fence about. When it comes to that, the law states that a new father is entitled to just two weeks of paternity leave. Which is obviously not enough. I mean, don’t fathers have equal responsibility towards the newborn child as the mothers?
Finland is the perfect example of how a country should be. After Sanna Marin and her five-party coalition government has come into power, they are absolutely killing it. I am standing strong on my idea of moving there someday, I hope I get a permanent resident status before I get pregnant.