Daddy Leave in Norway

This is the Idle Ethnographer’s share of social advertising for today. In Norway, 90% of men take their 3 months leave, while in the UK only 40% of men take the 2 week daddy leave to which they are entitled – the figures in Norway are actually pretty impressive, given the short time the scheme has been running. As always, we need to bear in mind that pushing policies to introduce more daddy leave is not some empty argument. It is not about getting some rigidly defined equality at all costs. As things stand, and in the way most of us have been socialised, it is still considered normal in many communities that a larger share of women will be generally more interested in, and capable of, and ready for, taking care of kids. If that is the situation now, this does not mean that it is set in stone. Things are changing and this is fabulous. At least in my ideal world, all people are people, not overly determined by their gender or physical or mental ability. Of course, those things are important, but society can do its share to smooth out the differences to give more capability to everyone make everybody’s life better. Until everyone is equally interested in parental leave and the decision is taken by parents and guardians of all genders, on an equal footing, I reckon we can do with some affirmative action.

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