A Leap Towards Equality: Not Just Moms, Finland Announces 7-Month Leave For New Dads

A Leap Towards Equality: Not Just Moms, Finland Announces 7-Month Leave For New Dads

Do you how many days of paid maternity leave are mothers entitled to in India? Twenty-six weeks (roughly six months) from the date of the birth of the child. However, birth mothers can start their leaves up to eight weeks before the due date. It happened only recently, in 2017, when India passed the Maternity (Amendment) Bill that increased it from 12 weeks to 26. Furthermore, the law is applicable only to those who have at least 10 employees in the company.

While the right to paid maternity leave in India is the third highest in the world, do you how many days of paid paternity leave Indian fathers are allowed? In the government sector, 15 days and in the private sector, it depends on the corporate policy. This means--it could be 15, or it could be five. If you think about it, the responsibility of taking care of a newborn lies almost solely on the mother --that is how the Indian law is designed.

But that's not how Finland grooves!

Recently, the European country announced a new policy that allows both the parents seven months of parental leaves, which means 14 months of paid leaves in all. Furthermore, pregnant partners are also entitled to one month of pregnancy leave before the due date. According to reports, single parents can access the allowance for both parents. Not just that, parents can also transfer 69 days (nearly two and a half months) from their quota of leaves to the other parent. Isn't that just wonderful?

Clearly, good things happen when you have women running nations. We are so proud of the Finnish PM Sanna Marin, who is the youngest prime minister in the world at 34, for showing what a world with gender equality should look like.

According to the Minister of Health and Social, the idea behind the 'radical reform' is to improve gender equality and boost declining birth rate in Finland. The policy is expected to come into effect sometimes in 2021. Previously, Finland granted about four months of paid leave to mothers and about two months to fathers.

Here's hoping that the world takes cues from Finland and moves forward towards more gender-equal laws. India could definitely benefit from this. Not that we have a declining birth rate to address.

Featured Image: Shutterstock

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