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为什么瑞典男人有那么长的产假?

   

为什么瑞典男人有那么长的产假?

 

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  ALONG with its Nordic neighbours, Sweden features near the top of most gender-equality rankings. The World Economic Forum rates it as having one of the narrowest gender gaps in the world. But Sweden is not only a good place to be a woman: it also appears to be an idyll for new dads. Close to 90% of Swedish fathers take paternity leave. Last year some 340,000 dads took a total of 12m days' leave, equivalent to about seven weeks each. Women take even more leave days to spend time with their children, but the gap is shrinking. Why do Swedish dads take so much time off work to raise their children?

  Forty years ago Sweden became the first country in the world to introduce a gender-neutral paid parental-leave allowance. Benefits comprised 90% of wages for 180 days per child, and parents were free to divvy up the days between them in whatever way they pleased. But the policy was hardly a hit with dads: in the scheme's first year men took only 0.5% of all paid parental leave.

  Today they take a quarter of it. One reason is that the scheme has become more generous, with the number of paid leave days for the first child being bumped up from 180 to 480. But it has also been tweaked to encourage a more equal sharing of the allowance. In 1995 the first so-called "daddy month" was introduced. Under this reform, families in which each parent took at least one month of leave received an additional month to add to their total allowance. The policy was expanded in 2002 so that if the mother and father each took at least two months' leave, the family would get two extra months. Some politicians now want to go further, proposing that the current system of shared leave be turned into one of individual entitlements, under which mothers should be allowed to take only half of the family's allowance, with the rest reserved for fathers.

  Policies similar to the Swedish "daddy months" have been introduced in other countries. Germany amended its parental leave scheme in 2007 along Swedish lines, and within two years the share of fathers who took paid leave jumped from 3% to over 20%. One of the most powerful arguments in favour of splitting parental leave more equally is that it has positive ripple effects for women. Since Swedish men started to take more responsibility for child rearing, women have seen both their incomes and levels of self-reported happiness increase. Paying dads to change nappies and hang out at playgrounds seems to benefit the whole family.查看译文

  跟它的北欧邻国们一样,瑞典在性别平等榜单上名列前茅。世界经济论坛将它评为世界上性别差异最小的国家之一。然而瑞典不仅仅是一个适合女人居住的国家,看起来它也是新爸爸们的乐土。几乎90%的瑞典爸爸们休产假。去年大概34万父亲一共休掉了120万个假日,相当于每人休假七周。女性甚至休更多假来陪伴孩子,但是男女差距正在缩小。为什么瑞典男人从工作中抽出这么多时间来养育孩子呢?

  四十年前,瑞典成为世界上第一个实施中性带薪产假津贴的国家。其福利包括每次生产后,父母都享受90%工资的180天产假,并且父母双方能自由随心地分配天数。但是这个政策几乎没对爸爸们产生任何影响:在体制的第一年,男人们只休了0.5%的带薪产假。

  现在他们休四分之一的带薪产假。一个原因在于这个方案变得更加慷慨了,给第一个孩子的带薪产假已经从180天增长到了480天。但是这也是被调整来鼓励更加平均的薪金分配。1995年,第一个所谓的“爸爸月”诞生了。在这一次改良中,父母双方分别休至少一个月假的家庭会在总薪金上会有额外一个月的增加。2002年该政策得到扩展,如果父亲和母亲分别休至少两个月的假,该家庭就会得到额外两个月的薪金收入。一些政治家还希望在这上面有所进步,他们提议现存的共享休假系统应该转变为一种个人权利的系统,规定母亲只被允许拿家庭津贴的一半,剩下的一半要留给父亲。

  其他国家也实施了跟瑞典的“爸爸月”类似的政策。2007年,德国根据瑞典的方法修改了它的产假计划,之后两年内休假的父亲的比例从3%增长到超过20%。支持更加平均地分配产假的最有力的论点之一是它对女性有积极的连锁效应。由于瑞典男性开始在育儿上承担更多的责任,女性的收入和自我报告幸福水平都上升了。付钱给爸爸们让他们给孩子换尿布、带孩子去游乐场似乎对于整个家庭都有好处。

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