For the longest time, people imagined what the world would look like if it was run by women, and now they can finally see what it really looks like ever since Finland got the world’s first women-led government thanks to 34-year-old Prime Minister Sanna Marin. With a total of 14-months, parents will receive seven months each of paid leave with pregnant partners receiving one month of leave prior to giving birth. This new policy will come into effect as early as 2021 and will definitely eliminate gender-based allowances for parental leave; the increased number of leaves is set to cost the country 100 million euros which translates to about $110 million.
45,597 babies were born which was the lowest Finland ever saw since the famine of 1868
At the moment, Sweden boasts the most generous leave policy in the world and offers parents 240 days each and people can even transfer the leaves to their partner so that one can have more days if that’s what they prefer. Minister of Health and Social Affairs Aino-Kaisa Pekonen revealed that this radical reform will improve gender equality and will also improve the declining birth rate and diversity in families across the country. In 2019, only 45,597 babies were born which was the lowest Finland ever saw since the famine of 1868. Like Finland, many developed countries who are seeing a low birth rate are increasing their paternity and parental leaves to encourage people to have children in spite of their careers. Prime Minister, Marin, said that her policy can be a great example to America since despite it being a developed country and one among 31 wealthy nations, it did not have any provision for paid leave for working mothers.
Finland has an aging population and the country needs more young people to sustain the economy
“I feel that the American Dream can be achieved best in the Nordic countries, where every child no matter their background or the background of their families can become anything because we have a very good education system. We have a good health-care and social welfare system that allows anybody to become anything. This is probably one of the reasons why Finland gets ranked the happiest country in the world,” she added. Finland also has an aging population and hence the country needs more young people to sustain the economy and raise their children. There is a big need in the world today for more family-friendly work policies and this gender-neutral parental leave will make a work-life balance something that both mothers and fathers can achieve. From the point of view of the big picture, this might also mean that other European countries will soon follow suit so that parental policies will be the focus in the workplace which in turn will help employees in the long run.
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