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Swedish Dads Told to Take Three Months Paternity Leave


Swedish Dads Told to Take Three Months Paternity Leave

- Common Dreams staff

Sweden is planning to introduce a third month of paid parental leave reserved for fathers as of 2016, in a bid to further increase gender equality, the country’s government has just announced.

The country's Left Party is hoping for more individualized paid time off for new parents, according to Sveriges Radio, Sweden's English radio service. Observer's believe that the proposal has a good chance of being enacted by parliament.


Your points are well-taken. I find Sweden’s treatment of Assange maddening too. But it is entirely off-topic and seem to be written here only to promote the spirit of negativity that seems to dominate the regular commenter-ship on Common Dreams.


Thank you JonnyJames. Yes, this notion people have that telling the truth is being negative is hogwash. The truth about the subjects being discussed here at CD IS negative. Pretending the world is all daisies and rainbows is what has gotten us into the world we’re in. This is the core of lesser-of-two-evilism; look at the good side of a bad candidate. Only fools believe that by pretending the bad stuff isn’t happening things will get better.


At the same time the good that goes on can not be ignored either notwithstanding all that is wrong. To do so is little more then nihilism.

In comparing how Sweden treats its fathers and working class and how its Government deals with one Julian Assange we must be able to distinguish between which of these policies are PEOPLE driven and driven by the people and whuch are ones driven by that countries ruling elite. Added to that one must consider the role of the media and state when it comes to informing a population on the issues,

The issue really is the dynamics of power. Even Sweden which is seen as Socialist by many , has its long established ruling class. They have not gone to the extremes we see in other Nation States but that model and power dynamic still exists there. A fundamental truth is this . The ruling class and wealthy of a given nation state have more in common with the wealthy ruling elites of other nation states than they do with their fellow citizens.


What this story brings to mind is not so much Sweden or other European societies, but the stark difference of the US relative to almost everyone else. It’s only in this country that the Swedish parental leave story would seen so incongruous. Going back to the early 20th century any rational program designed to facilitate living for the bulk of the population was tagged as a socialist evil. Labor history was brutal compared to other western countries, financial security, safety nets along with a national healthcare system was/is demonized like the topic of terrorism is now.

Unlike other European societies, having a right to live wasn’t an historical guarantee. You’re on your own and how you deal with power struggles when you have none makes for ugly situations, to put it mildly. Yet the US has legal freedoms that are perhaps not matched anywhere. But it’s in the realm of the social freedoms that people reside. It’s quite a dichotomy. It’s not surprising that the US is the most business oriented country in the world (Singapore not being a true ‘country’). But surveys have shown this is not what the majority of the population wants. This makes for what activists have often said is the prerequisites for real change.


Three months paternity leave could never happen in this country. Any time someone starts talking about maternity/paternity leave, paid sick days or raising the minimum wage, a huge howling, yowling and caterwauling arises from the business community and all the chambers of commerce. I think much of this hostility towards sensible social programs is based on our history of slavery, lynchings, segregation and racism. So much of the population was opposed to universal healthcare because then “those” people would be entitled to health care, too.


All this is really nice. One problem i see is it might create reluctance on the part of the employer to hire young people. The youth unemployment does seem kinda high in Sweden.


Shocking as it may be for you to accept, with your inflated, American exceptionalist, opinion of the global power and importance of the United States, but the governments here in the EU do not ‘cave in to US demands’ or even particularly give a shit about them, (ditto for the general populace) but are generally more worried about public opinion and how it will effect their chances of re-election and there is a history of EU opposition to US policies, corporate pressures, and geo-poltical stances, to demonstrate this. A relatively recent example being the refusal to aid the US in its desire to bomb Syria.

In relation to the Assange case, this business was implemented by the previous Swedish right wing government and still is by various individuals who have strong personal connections with Karl Rove and the American government and is nothing to do with the present Swedish left wing government, who, if anything, have put pressure on the prosecuters to resolve the matter quickly. Generally it is out of their hands. Or are you suggesting that government should interfere in legal process, which is the hallmark of tyrannies?


Yes let’s pay heterosexuals to breed some more, then call it progress. Meanwhile thousands of children starve to death each day. Meanwhile the population increases at three additional people per second.

Meanwhile resources are running out due to overconsumption and environmental degradation.

But let’s make it easier to breed children. Yeah, that will work.


Oh give it a rest.


THe story is about fathers being given benefits so they can breed more children. Instead of talking about overpopulation, people here talk about Assange and how evil the US is. Cognitive dissonance much?


How is giving fathers benefits to breed more children progress? And that does any of that have to do with Assange:?

People on here are obsessed with finding any possible way to trash the US, and ignore overpopulation.


Yes this makes perfect sense! Confucius, one of history’s great teachers said the best way to serve your country is to be a good father.


The US no longer has legal freedoms either. How many rich crooks are in prison? Money and power buys good lawyers and the “Affluenza” defense works.

Even the Supreme Court can no longer be looked upon as a legal institution interpreting the Constitution. It has become an ideological outfit. Otherwise why would people say we have to get a Democrat into the presidency in order for him/her to affect the Supreme Court? The same works in reverse.


Nobody is pretending the world is daises. But the topic here is Sweden’s domestic programs. Ho do you keep a job if you digress like this with poeple - especially when the digression is simply to spread you depression on everyone else.

And, are you currently working on any activist projects, or are you just bellyaching at the keyboard all day?


Anything pushed to the extreme cannot hold in the long run. The US has pushed capitalism to the extreme of vulture, greed, selfish enterprise which no longer cares for anything and anyone other than the SELF and the almighty dollar. We see the backlash happening already here and there. So far it is still being controlled by force but eventually it cannot hold.

The same goes when pushing socialism or communism to the extreme.
Like someone pointed out here, under each ideological government a wealthy, powerful elite arises.


And if the youth unemployment is high, so what?

Is the purpose of life to compete with others to sell the most sweat at the cheapest price to a boss until death? An unemployed person in Sweden enjoys a much better living standard and fuller, culturally richer life that an average employed USAn.


Last I checked, unless a human couple, on average has slightly more than 2 children, we will go extinct. Sweden, and most of Europe, is actually falling somewhat short of this replacement rate. This is about giving children the best start in life by paying parents for the most important job there is - parenting.

Please take your misanthropy elsewhere - and get psychiatric help - which is probably good advice for a lot of commenters here.


Not terribly important, but why exactly is the photo showing a particularly good-looking man with a 3-year-old? (Paternity leave is being proposed for three months after birth, not three years.)


Another unreal, weird, negative, nihilistic comment from the CM comments section. Giving paternity leave will encourage overbreeding??? Geezus, it doesn’t get any more ridiculous. Sweden is a country with a small population and previous generous maternity/paternity leave programs have not lead to a population explosion, not even close. I guess having universal health care might lead to overbreeding and a population boom, too???