08 May, 2008

Does paternal leave harm women's careers?

I mentioned replacing maternity leave with parental leave in a blog post a little while ago. In my view, I felt that it was right for two main reasons: firstly, not all families are 'traditional' and having only maternity leave restricts families who wish to have a career woman and a house husband. Secondly, I felt it would be more likely to increase gender equality in the workplace.

I do no agree with the whole of this article (for example, I'm happy to agree that many adult women make choices which 'demote' them without the patriarchy needing to step in an oppress them. But I'm not happy with solely ascribing this to a biological cause), but the paragraph starting "but what does this mean for our currant notions of equality" raises an interesting point as well meaning maybe I need to reconsider whether parental leave would lead to greater gender equality. In American Ivy League universities, where parental leave is offered, it seems that men use it to further their research whilst women use it to raise their children. The result? Men come back with e book, women with a backlog.

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