“Swedish Dads” project turns dads on to paid parental leave

By Hannah Schenker

Sweden has one of the most generous paid parental leave systems in the world, with parents eligible to stay at home for a whopping 480 days while receiving assistance from the state, with 90 days allotted specifically to each parent.

The allotted days for each parent was designed to encourage both parents to utilise this time at home, to promote gender equality. In addition, an “equality bonus” scheme has begun to further encourage the sharing of these days. The more days that are shared equally between mothers and fathers, the higher the bonus.

And yet, despite this incredible program being available, only a small percentage of fathers actually use their parental leave. Photographer Johan Bavman decided to explore this in his project “Swedish Dads”, documenting fathers who did choose to stay at home with their young children. His hopes are to encourage more fathers to do so and spread the message worldwide as well.

Wouldn’t it be incredible if the rest of the world could catch up to the progressive thinking of Sweden and other countries, who really seek to put the wellbeing of their people first?

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