Wednesday, 16 September 2009

News article on maternity leave

I think this is really good news. Yesterday the government announced that fathers will be able to take six months' paternity leave.

Not only do I approve of it, but I think it is really interesting in regards to my dissertation as well. I've not really spoken yet on the subject matter of my dissertation, mainly because I'm still in the process of clearly defining the question and narrowing the direction. However, it is focused on women in design, and I've been doing a fair amount of reading on the subject over the summer.

Its great that men now have the opportunity to take a longer period of paternity leave if they wish to - a vast improvement on the previous miniscule two weeks. Whether the majority of men will want to or not is another matter: an interesting viewpoint in one of the sociology books I have been reading is that men are generally disinterested in taking on the active role in their child's early years, being more hands on and useful in the adolescent years. Maybe they've just never been given the chance?

To allow that greater flexibility for couples to discuss what is best for them is a big step forward. Its not just about equal opportunities for women, its about equal opportunities for men and women. And this new scheme can benefit both.


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