Friday, 18 June 2010

Did you know that in Sweden, men can take parental leave? As in, they take time off work to care for their babies.

In this land of Viking lore, men are at the heart of the gender-equality debate. The ponytailed center-right finance minister calls himself a feminist, ads for cleaning products rarely feature women as homemakers, and preschools vet books for gender stereotypes in animal characters. For nearly four decades, governments of all political hues have legislated to give women equal rights at work — and men equal rights at home. 

I read this article from the New York Times, where it was highlighted that in Sweden, it is expected for both genders to take leave to care for their newborn child. That's why they no longer use the term maternity leave- they use parental leave instead.

I think it's fantastic that Sweden did this. I mean, feminists are always campaigning for gender equality, but sometimes men are the ones being treated unfairly. I for one still remember teachers back in primary and secondary school who said that girls are more trustworthy than boys. So this move is, I think, pretty fair.

Understanding what it is to be home with a child may help explain why divorce and separation rates in Sweden have dropped since 1995 — at a time when divorce rates elsewhere have risen, according to the national statistics office. When couples do divorce or separate, shared custody has increased. 

Of course, it has it shortcomings (read the article here). But everything isn't perfect, right?

Anyway, tomorrow I'll be heading to Melbourne to see some friends and have a holiday, so I won't be able to update my blog anytime soon. I'll leave you with three videos of toilet pranks:

Didn't know you can surf on toilet seats!
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