Paternity leave, a geographical issue

In almost 100 countries, there is no kind of permission for men who become fathers

Paternity leave, a geographical issue

Being born in one place or another on the planet can define the rest of a person's life, as well as those who decide to bring a new human being to the world. While in the developed countries the debate on the reconciliation of work and family life is on the agenda of more and more companies, in many Asian or African nations they do not know what that is.

Leer en español: Permiso de paternidad, una cuestión geográfica

In these countries, men do not enjoy a single day of leave when they have a baby, a circumstance that occurs in 92 countries. This means that 90 million children under the age of one year - two thirds of the population of this age in the world - grow up without the father figure at home.

These are some of the devastating figures of a report carried out by UNICEF that warns about the inequalities in terms of paternity leave in the world.

While in most European countries parents enjoy a minimum of 14 paid weeks to care for their babies, in almost all of Africa or Asia, these permits are non-existent, with few exceptions such as Japan, Mongolia, or South Korea.

Among the developed countries, the cases of Switzerland and the Netherlands stand out. In the Swiss country, men do not enjoy a single day of paternity leave, while in the Netherlands they only have 2 days. In the latter case, the Government has decided to move the file and for 2020 men will have five consecutive paid days and another five weeks in which they will receive 70% of their salary.

And what is the situation in Latin America?

Unfortunately, this region does not have good indicators either, except for Cuba. On the island, both the mother and the father enjoy licenses at the level of the most advanced European countries: one year for her and between 4 and 5 months for him.

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At the other extreme is Argentina, which barely contemplates two days for the father and three months for the mother. However, this excludes informal workers, homosexual families, or those who have decided to adopt. A policy that remains unchanged since it was introduced in 1994.

The southern country is located at the tail of the continent in this matter, behind Brazil, Mexico, and Chile, which grant 5 days. Colombia grants 8 and Uruguay 13. I Ecuador and Paraguay, men enjoy 15 days of paternity leave.

A women's thing

Back in Africa, it is surprising that this option is not considered in more than a dozen countries of the continent, because motherhood "is a women's thing" when men are asked, for example in Senegal.

Even women's associations recognize that "there are other priorities". This gives an idea of ​​the stagnant vision of motherhood that is maintained in many African countries, where in a natural way the society - men and women - grants the exclusive responsibility of raising the children to the mother.


LatinAmerican Post | José María González
Translated from “Permiso de paternidad, una cuestión geográfica”

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