Fathers should be allowed to take more of a lead in caring for their newborn child, according to Catalan MP Lourdes Ciuró.
The politician is pushing to double the amount of paid Spanish paternity leave from two weeks to four by January 2015.
Ciuró warned: “[if the issue is not addressed, we will] continue to harm women’s professional development, and create a clear framework of inequality.”
Ciuró went on to say that the move would help infants to enjoy as much time as possible with both parents, and that two weeks is not enough time for new fathers to become actively involved in the baby’s care.
Under the current system, men have just thirteen days of paid leave before they have to return to work, compared to 112 days for women. Spain holds the eighth position in the EU’s paternity rankings.
Compare this to Swedish legislation, and it is not surprising that they hold the top spot, with 480 days of paid leave to be shared between parents. Swedish dads are obliged to take at least two months of compulsory paternity leave.
A change to Spanish paternity law would certainly help Spain to move up in the rankings, but there is still a long way to go, with all the Scandinavian countries ranking highly in this area.