Mums nurture, dads work, survey says

The Dominion Post 25 May 2007
Women and men may have strived for workplace equality, but when it comes to paid parental leave it is still mum at home with the baby and dad as the breadwinner. That is one of the conclusions from a Labour Department evaluation of the Government scheme, which found it was almost exclusively mothers, rather than fathers, who took paid parental leave. Men and women often fell into more traditional gender roles – with mother as nurturer and father as provider – when having a child, and that affected how paid parental leave was used, the report said…. About 80% of eligible mothers took parental leave – with 40% of those taking paid leave only and 56% taking extended leave. Financial pressure was the biggest barrier to mothers taking the full 12 months. Only one-quarter of mothers thought the paid parental leave entitlement was long enough, and 70% said ideally they would take a year off. Two-thirds of the women who took leave agreed it was more important for mothers to do so than fathers, and only 28% said they would entertain the idea of transferring some to their partner.

Read the full report