Jo celebrates anniversary of shared parental leave with dads and babies

It’s 4 years today since one of the best achievements of the Lib Dems in Government started – the right of parents to decide between themselves who takes leave when they have a baby.

Jo Swinson was the minister who made it happen and in a cracking thread on Twitter with some fantastic GIFs, she celebrates the anniversary.

She recorded this video:

Yesterday, Jo was on Victoria Derbyshire.

Vanessa Pine was Jo’s special adviser at the time. She helped put the system together. She’s written about how important it is to change the culture to make sure that more dads can take up shared parental leave.

She introduced the concept of “mumsplaining” as an example of what needs to change:

Those battling for greater gender equality at work will be familiar with the challenges of ‘mansplaining’ but are we equally as conscious of the biases we hold when it comes to men doing childcare?

Nick describes his experience of being a man in the female dominated world “you’re something exotic, like a penguin, you walk in and everyone looks at you, like you’re interesting but somewhat out of place…. A woman on the bus told me that I needed to pick up my son because he was grizzling, I explained that he really was fine just tired from a long day. I knew what he needed, she didn’t even know his name. She was only placated when another woman took my side and said – no he’s right.”

Han-Son, whose son is now four and a half, agreed “There is a cultural change happening; we’re re-evaluating what it means to be a man, changing the shape of masculinity. We’re acknowledging men want to give back to their children, but that change still needs a turbo blast.”

Maybe once we are used to seeing more men look after their babies, we’ll have less of this attitude:

James, whose daughters are 8 and 11, went further “when I went part time to look after my kids it was quite a shock for people. I was surprised by how surprising they found it. I was a “hero dad” giving up my career and showing I cared. But none of them had batted an eyelid when my wife had gone part time previously.”

Have you taken advantage of shared parental leave? Why not write for us and tell us how it went for you?

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

One Comment

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 25th Apr - 7:40am
    I am afraid it is not a coincidence that when forced to adopt a more proportional system for the EU parliament, Blair and Straw went...
  • User AvatarInnocent Bystander 25th Apr - 7:36am
    David Raw, You misunderstand. I was not calling for you to voluntarily give up the NHS. No. I was simply predicting that the day is...
  • User AvatarJohn Chandler 25th Apr - 7:17am
    The elections already highlight one falsehood spouted by some Brexiters: that we have no say in Europe, and it's all about unelected bureaucrats. Here's an...
  • User AvatarAndy Daer 25th Apr - 6:54am
    This may be only the fourth comment, but perhaps we are all to ashamed to say anything. I switched to LED light bulbs and installed...
  • User AvatarNonconformistradical 25th Apr - 6:19am
    @Lorenzo Cherin "You repeat what I read , and that awful approach from the new party in my view could and would have not been...
  • User AvatarGlenn 25th Apr - 5:17am
    Plus There is a clue in NHS. It is a NATIONAL health service not a European health service. It came into being on July 5th...