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Equality, Social Sustainability, and Paid Parental Leave in the Nordic Countries

In order to encourage fathers to participate in the care of their children, the Nordic countries started to introduce non-transferability, known as quotas, in their parental leave systems at the end of the 20th century. Recently, both Iceland and Finland extended non-transferable leave, Denmark reintroduced non-transferability and Sweden extended non-transferability. The aim of the project is to examine recent changes in paid parental leave schemes in the Nordic countries and ask to what extent they support sustainable development.

Researchers will develop comparative indicators that measure how parental leave policies relate to the UN goals of gender equality, poverty eradication and the promotion of well-being. A comparative analysis will be carried out.

The project will seek answers to whether Nordic parental leave policies are likely to increase or decrease inequalities in terms of gender, social class and well-being for parents and children. Researchers from all five Nordic countries will write a report on this comparative analysis and present the results at a Nordic seminar to reach relevant stakeholders, such as policy makers, experts from the social partners, academics and the general public.

Updated 12 December 2023