Dads with strollers walk in the parks with their take-out coffee cups in hand, they have lunch in the cafes with their friends, they go grocery shopping and bring their kids to child care centres. And not with the mommy alongside, actually alone with the kid(s). Apparently, there is even a term for this phenomenon – “latte papas” :-).
The reason for that (besides the fact that fathers really want to be more engaged with their children) is generous parental leave conditions. In Sweden parents are entitled to 480 days of paid (77,6% of the employee’s monthly salary) parental leave and of those, 60 days are exclusively reserved for the dad (!!!). The days cannot be given to the mother so they are lost if not utilised (I am guessing that my female friends from Latvia are now shocked to their very core :-), this is not something we practise in Latvia).
And can you believe that there are actually some Swedish politically left parties that argue for legislation to oblige families to divide 480 days equally between mother and father? Well, this obviously proves that gender equality is one of the core values of modern Swedish society. I would simply call it a modern society.
The best father’s day gift would maybe be more parental days to the father?