Trends in parental leave in the Nordic countries: Has the forward march of gender equality halted?

Gudny Björk Eydal, Ingólfur V. Gislason*, Tine Rostgaard, Berit Brandth, Ann-Zofie Duvander, Johanna Lammi-Taskula

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the development of parental leave in the Nordic countries in the last decade or so and explain the different approaches taken by individual countries in this regard. Focusing on recent developments, though mainly on the provision of a father's quota, we discuss whether we are actually witnessing a paradigm shift in some of these countries, i.e. a movement away from an emphasis on the dual earner/dual carer model and a reverting back to a more traditional family model approach where the mother is seen as the main parent. This change is commonly presented under the guise of it respecting the ‘free choice’ of individual families. Furthermore, the article asks why the changes in question have taken place and examines the positions of different political parties towards the issue. The article shows that the Nordic countries are developing somewhat different policies and the intra-Nordic gap in both policies and politics seems to be increasing rather than narrowing.
TidsskriftCommunity, Work and Family.
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)167-181
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 2015
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Nordic countries
  • parental leave
  • fathers
  • party-politics

Citer dette