(Hat tip to startledoctopus.)
Great news from South Korea!
The number of fathers taking time off work to take care of their children is increasing as parental leave becomes accepted in Korea. According to the Ministry of Employment and Labor on Wednesday, 819 male salaried workers took paternity leave last year, up 63 percent from 502 in 2009.
In the first quarter of this year, 273 men took the leave, up 86 percent from the corresponding period of last year. If the trend continues, the figure is expected to surpass 1,000 this year.
Paternal leave is a core masculist issue. It allows men to bond with their children in early life, making an equal contribution to the process of raising the child. It’s an excellent first step for creating a culture in which it is expected that both men and women will make equal career sacrifices for their children. Making that culture is both a masculist and a feminist issue: for masculists, it battles the idea of men as “success objects” and makes men more likely to get custody in contested divorce cases; for feminists, it eliminates one of the major causes of the gender pay gap.
A culture where men are expected to take paternal leave is a culture in which the contributions of fathers to child-rearing are valued.
Congratulations to South Korea!