Towards Gender Equality: Paid paternity leave is needed to address toxic masculinity

Article here. Excerpt:

'In an earlier article, I had written about how paid paternity leave is imperative for gender justice and well-being of children. I argued that paternity leave not only allows new fathers to up their care-giving quotient, thereby reducing the burden on new mothers, it is also great for the development and health of babies as the first few months tend to be a crucial period. Additionally, having paid maternity leave alone skews the field against working women as companies may be less inclined to hire or promote women employees if they see paid maternity leave as a burden.

Since I recently became a new father, I am now convinced that not having paid paternity leave also sows the seeds of patriarchy in society, leading to issues down the road such as toxic masculinity and devaluation of women. For, I am increasingly coming to realise that in the absence of paid paternity leave, new fathers are forced to choose between care-work for their babies and their jobs. This is because if a new father decides to take equal responsibility for child care in the initial months, his work life is bound to be compromised given the baby’s erratic sleeping pattern and cleaning, feeding and comforting needs. And most employers are not tolerant of such compromises at work. This leaves new fathers with little choice but to dump care-giving responsibilities on mothers and focus on their jobs.'

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