France doubles paternity leave to 28 days

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In a landmark decision, France announced that its paid paternity leave would be doubled from 14 to 28 days, with the policy starting next summer. President Emmanuel Macron also announced this week that it will be mandatory for fathers to take at least a week off after their baby is born. The new plan – which also applies to same-sex couples – will make France one of the most generous in Europe when it comes to paternity leave.

“When a baby comes into the world, there is no reason for it to be just the mother taking care of it,” Macron said on Wednesday when announcing the plan, while saying parents should have “More equality in the sharing of responsibility from day one. “According to Le New York Times, European researchers have been documenting the benefits of paternity leave for fathers, their partners and their children for some time:

“Fathers who take paternity leave remain more engaged in parenting, studies show, and are more likely to share household chores after a long leave. And female partners of men who take paternity leave are less likely to need anti-anxiety medication. “

Despite the milestone for France, several countries are still ahead of the progressiveness of extended paternity leave. Portugal currently offers five weeks, while Finland grants nine weeks, although the latter’s female leaders recently announced that paternity leave will be extended to seven months (the same as the conditions for the maternity), starting next year. Meanwhile, Germany allows parents to take up to 14 months of paid leave (which offers an option for time to be shared between the two members of a couple), with Sweden offering a similar system of a shared maximum of 480 days of paid leave for both parents.

In contrast, a survey indicated that only nine in ten fathers in the United States will take leave after the birth or adoption of a child, although “70% do not take more than 10 days.”

Although many applaud France’s recent move and Macron himself pledged in his 2017 election to prioritize gender equality throughout his five-year term, the president’s government has been criticized in the past for appointing a ruling politician who had already been elected. accused of rape, and also for appointing justice minister a lawyer known for his sexist comments.

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