Just because a country has a government led by women, it doesn’t mean they won’t have men’s backs. The Finnish government, led by 34-year-old Prime Minister Sanna Marin, has just announced a policy of equalized paid leave for both mothers and fathers of newborn children. New mothers and fathers will each be granted seven months of maternity and paternity leave respectively, for a total of 14 months of paid leave. A pregnant parent will also receive one month of pregnancy allowance before the child is born.
The policy is designed to eliminate gender biases when it comes to paid leave for new parents. Previously, four months of paid leave were granted to mothers, while fathers only got two months. Parents will also be able to transfer 69 days from their own leave to their partner, for ultimate flexibility, and single parents will be able to use all 14 months for themselves.
The United States might want to take note. According to a 2019 UNICEF report that studied 31 wealthy nations, the US was the only one without a national paid leave policy for new parents.
“I feel that the American Dream can be achieved best in the Nordic countries, where every child no matter their background or the background of their families can become anything, because we have a very good education system,” Marin told the Washington Post. “We have a good health-care and social welfare system that allows anybody to become anything. This is probably one of the reasons why Finland gets ranked the happiest country in the world.”
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