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Fatherhood in the Nordic Welfare statesComparing care policies and practice$
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Guðný Björk Eydal and Tine Rostgaard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447310471

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447310471.001.0001

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The coming and going of the father’s quota in Denmark:

The coming and going of the father’s quota in Denmark:

consequences for fathers’ parental leave take-up

(p.277) Thirteen The coming and going of the father’s quota in Denmark
Fatherhood in the Nordic Welfare states

Tine Rostgaard

Mette Lausten

Policy Press

In the Nordic countries gender equality concerns have led to the introduction of a non-transferable, use-it-or-lose-it father’s quota in the parental leave system, which gives fathers incentive to take leave. That is except for Denmark, where it was available only for a short duration of time. This chapter looks behind the political process of introducing and abolishing the quota and what have been the impact on male take-up of parental leave. The findings are that the introduction of the father’s quota is a politically risky project, not least in Denmark, where gender equality is of a more symbolic nature compared to the other Nordic countries. As for take-up, the findings are that the father’s quota stimulated initial take-up by fathers but after the abolishment we see an increasing discrepancy in take-up. Today, it is the more resourceful fathers with additional labour market rights to leave who tend to take up leave, implying that fathers today are positioned differently and have different opportunities to spend time with their children.

Keywords:   Denmark, father’s quota, parental leave, Nordic countries, gender equality

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