No big deal for Finns as defense chief takes paternity leave

HELSINKI: In the midst of the biggest regional security crisis in decades, as Finland waits to join NATOThe defense minister chose to take a leave of almost two months to care for his parents.
And the Finns don’t blink. Their Ditto Northern Europe neighbors, who are used to social policies that are family-oriented and work-life balance.
defense Minister Antti KaikkonenA 48-year-old father of two, has made a sensational argument about taking maternity leave starting January 6 to be primarily devoted to his 6-month-old son.
“Children are small for a moment and I want to remember that in other ways than just pictures,” Kaikkonen tweeted, assuring that Finland’s security “would be in good hands”.
He later told Finnish news agency STT that “although ministerial duties are important to me, at some point you have to put family first”.
Five Nordic countries — Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden — have made gender equality a top priority in their policies, and that includes encouraging fathers to spend more time more time for children.
In Sweden, both parents receive 480 days of parental leave for each child, with each parent able to use half — 240 — of those days, which can also be transferred negotiable. In case of multiple births, each child is counted for an additional 180 days.
In September, Finland introduced a gender-neutral parental leave system that allows both parents to take 160 days of paid leave and transfer certain days to each other.
Leading male politicians in the Nordic countries have used their leave rights to a certain extent but it is still not the norm.
In Denmark, Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen began taking two months off to give birth at the end of 2020, saying his son “almost only sees his father on TV”.
Others in Denmark doing so include former immigration ministers, Mattias Tesfayeand culture, Joy Mogensen.
In Finland, the former Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen, a pioneer in combining politics and fatherhood, took paternity leave in the distant 1998, albeit for a much shorter period. Lipponen, now 81, has received a lot of positive news in the international media about her family arrangement.
In addition to the Ukraine war and rumors from neighboring Russia, the Finnish defense minister’s move also comes at a politically sensitive time: Finland faces a general election early this month 4, and its accession to NATO is in limbo mainly due to the opposition of alliance member Turkey – the country that claims the Finnish candidate and its NATO neighbor is Sweden first. must address its concerns about the alleged activities of Kurdish fighters in the two countries.
The Turkish and Hungarian parliaments have yet to ratify the Finnish and Swedish applications. Another 28 NATO countries have done so.
Finland’s leading newspaper Helsingin Sanomat said in an editorial that the country was likely to join NATO only after the new government took office and gave a positive assessment of Kaikkonen’s departure, saying it contained ” a message to society”.
“Watchers outside Finland may not only be surprised but sympathetic that the defense minister can take maternity leave right now. At least it shows that there is no panic in Finland,” said Helsingin Sanomat.
Emilia Kangas, a researcher on equality, work and family issues at Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences, says Finland has seen a significant shift in attitudes both in the corporate world career and politics over the past decade in favor of equally shared parenthood. mother.
Kaikkonen’s paternity leave “says a lot about our (Nordic) values ​​and welfare society,” says Kangas.
Maternity leave has become commonplace in the Nordic corporate world.
Antti Hakkarainen, partner at financial consulting firm KPMG Advisory Services in Helsinki, said: “I encourage everyone to try to take time off when their children are young. A father of three boys, he took eight months of leave in 2007.
“That period has been one of the highlights of my life so far,” he said.


News5h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button