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Posts Tagged ‘parental leave’

There is not much exhilarating going on in France these days, on the political and social fronts, to talk about.

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (Photo Nouvel Observateur)

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (Photo Nouvel Observateur)

There is however more than what Maureen Dowd wrote about yesterday in the New York Times, as to whether or not “Valérie (President François Hollande’s girlfriend) can seduce the French:” a bill on equality between men and women, proposed by the French Minister of Women’s Rights, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.

Inequalities, among others in the work place, are real: a 33% difference in pensions, a 19% wage gap in the private sector in favor of men. The law has the ambition to approach the problem of gender inequalities in a comprehensive way: in the political sphere, in the work place, and at home. For instance, the law will mandate a quota of 20% -to be brought to 40% in the board of corporations of more than 250 employees, to help break the glass ceiling. The allowance for parental leave – 572.81 Euros per month- has been extended to six months for families with one child, to the third birthday of the youngest child for a family with two or more children. Vallaud-Belkacem kind of agrees, in an interview she gave to Sylvain Courage and Elsa Vigoureux from the Nouvel Observateur, that this allowance is a pittance by European standards. She counts on the increase in the number of employees in day nurseries “to change mentalities,” and to give men incentives to take parental leaves.

That’s in  gauging the change in mentalities that Vallaud-Belkacem and the French government flatly fail. There have been divorced fathers on cranes in France, asking for the rights to live with their children as much as their ex do. Evidently, Vallaud-Belkacem has not noticed them.  The law does not  touch on gender inequality in parental rights after divorce. That’s, sadly, a missed opportunity.

Hat Tip: Véronique Rouquier

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Photo Almida

Spanish fathers are about to be allowed to take one breastfeeding hour a day (paid) for nine months after the birth of their child, even if their spouse is fully employed. Thanks to Pedro Manuel Roca Alvarez, who could not enjoy a breastfeeding leave because his wife was self-employed and brought his case to the European Court of Justice. The latter ruled that the Spanish law was causing unjust discrimination.

The  father rights chasm across the Atlantic seems to be widening. I can’t even start thinking of how to obtain ever father breastfeeding right in the U.S.. First, asking for a breastfeeding day for fathers would trigger the opposition of the Tea-party nuts, on the irrefutable grounds that “God did not give breasts to men, so why should lawmakers give men breastfeeding days?” Beside, breastfeeding days for men entail that women have them to. Instead, women in the U.S. have a pale three month – unpaid- parental leave, thanks to the 1993 Family Leave law.

Yet, the new Spanish law makes complete sense. Shared parenting after divorce has much better chances if there is  shared parenting before divorce. I bet that in Spain, they don’t have the best interest of the child “stuff”.

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Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.