Parental leave, gender equality, policy analysis, caregiving, strategies


Sweden's parental leave insurance is recognized internationally as the premiere parental leave policy addressing gender equality. Since 1974, when the policy changed from maternal to parental leave, policy makers have employed a variety ofstrategies including inducements, rules, and rights, to increase more gender-equal leave taking. Using Stone's (2006) strategy conceptualization, together with the gender systems approach (Crompton, 1999) which frames the gendered and socially constructed nature of earner/caregiver, this analysis examines how each of Sweden's incremental reforms in parental leave policy moved toward the goal of gender equality, with particular attention to father participation in caregiving.

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