The Unsung Importance of Paternity Leaves Promoting Workplace Gender Equality
In Europe, paternity leave is generally disregarded as an important factor in a woman’s career advancement and this emerges clearly from the disparity in days allowed for maternity and paternity leaves in major EU countries.
In the last decade, modern, single women have become more empowered and independent than ever before. This independence that women have sought after struggling for centuries can be restricted by issues linked to motherhood.
Even in the most equal of households, the way care labor is divided is usually unequal, with women primarily tasked with taking care of children and making sure that the house doesn’t burst into flames.
Why paternity leave is needed to promote gender equality?
The gender norm is the root cause for women not having enough time to concentrate on their careers during the early years of parenthood. It is also one of the fundamental reasons why women are generally presented with less economic opportunities, make less money, and face difficulties that men might not have to worry about on a daily basis.
The biggest issue affecting women in the workplace is the gender pay gap or the average difference between men and women’s pay. And, when it comes to gender pay gap, there are numerous ideas aimed towards narrowing or closing it down altogether that have been suggested.
One of the most interesting and worth noting suggestion is better paternity leave. The change in working hours per parent after the arrival of a child is responsible for the gender pay gap.
This is why paternity leave is needed to promote gender equality.
What is the purpose of paternity leave?
Historically, women tend to be the primary caretakers of their partners, children, and their home.
But, the purpose of paternity leave implies that if fathers took time off from work to take care of their children, then women, or mothers, could be more focused on pursuing whatever career goal they have in mind, rather than temporarily putting it off to nurture a child.
Why do men take paternity leave?
The betterment of paternity leave policies would have many benefits for both the mother, and the child.
Longer leaves for several weeks or even months could promote a more meaningful and deeper bond between the parent and their child. This kind of arrangement ultimately leads to a better future for both and contributes toward improving equity at home as well as in the workplace.
Time off from work during the hectic first weeks of parenthood plays a crucial role in developing a culture of active sharing of parenting duties.
Inadequate compensation impedes paternity leave policy
To promote the proper implementation of paternity leaves at workplaces require proper understanding of what percent of men take paternity leave?
The absence of compensation or the inadequate compensation of paternity leave is directly responsible for new fathers to decide against taking such leaves. They feel they are needed in the workplace but not at home.
Such implicit statements like the one mentioned above, made by most EU countries, reinforces the wrongful assumption that dominated the workplaces of the past century – men work, women stay at home.
Such statements ignore men’s role as fathers and caretakers completely.
On the other hand, providing easier access to paid paternity leaves can improve and ultimately change social stereotypes about work and family, most of which are an active barrier to women’s pursuit of life goals and better economic conditions.
In Scandinavian countries, for instance, the implementation of family-oriented policies has greatly contributed to a more gender equal view of both the household and the workplace.
The gender pay gap is the byproduct of gender discrimination.
Such discriminations can no longer be tolerated. In order to better this archaic way of seeing the two main spheres of life, exploring new ideas and actively working on policies aimed at gender equality should not only be advisable but mandatory.
The general improvement of paid care work must be seen as crucial to the structure of a productive labor market. This issue spans the most varied topics of interest, from the economic to the social, and therefore must not be overlooked.
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