Different views of gender roles explain Swedish-Danish differences in parental leave policy

November 08, 2011

In 1974, Sweden became the first country in the world to allow men to go on parental leave. This was largely a result of the idea carriers making the issue a matter of gender neutrality, according to a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

The thesis sheds new light on the historical processes that have led to Swedish mothers and fathers sharing the parental insurance, whereas in Denmark it is still mostly for mothers.

'The main reason is that the people in Sweden who in the 60s and 70s wanted to see a change in the gender roles managed to make the gender role debate a question of gender neutrality,' Sofie Cedstrand, author of the thesis.
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