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CFU'S MIRA C. SKADEGÅRD: INCREASED PATERNITY LEAVE WILL CHALLENGE BIAS - BUT WE CAN DO MORE

In her piece in Berlingske, Assistant Professor, Mira C. Skadegård, challenges the perception that ear-marked maternity leave for women is a right, while similar paternity leave ear-marked for men (or co-mother) is coercion. Skadegård highlights how societal norms in Denmark continue to lead to women performing more domestic labour than men. While the new paternity leave rules can help tackle this issue, it is far from sufficient.

Last modified: 17.01.2022

CFU'S MIRA C. SKADEGÅRD: INCREASED PATERNITY LEAVE WILL CHALLENGE BIAS - BUT WE CAN DO MORE

In January 2022, Assistant Professor, Mira C. Skadegård, penned a piece in Berlingske discussing the newly passed regulations regarding childcare leave for parents in Denmark. Read more about the new deal on paternity leave here. In her piece, Skadegård firstly notes how interesting the difference in perception is across genders: The allocated leave for mothers goes by unnoticed in the debates, whereas allocated paternity leave often is invoked as an example of coercion and as an infringement on the individual family's choice. 

Skadegård goes on to look at the historical division of labour where the home has traditionally been thought of as the woman's place of employment. Domestic work is generally unpaid, and while there is formal equality, women in Denmark continue to take on the brunt of domestic work, especially regarding childcare. Notably, this inequality is exacerbated by women not being compensated for their work, thus further exacerbating the existing inequality. 

Lastly, she notes how the labour market was created for a non-birthing and non-breastfeeding labour force and encourages considering tools that can better enable equality. The new measure could potentially enable us to think differently about existing gender roles in Denmark and therefore provide us with new insights. Maybe the new measure on paternity leave will foster new dialogues about what it means to be a parent in the labour market and how we can re-arrange our labour market to account for this. In this piece, Skadegård ignites hope for more to come. 

Find the piece by pressing here.