Image Name: Swedish dads, 2
Photographer Name: Johan Bavman
Image Description: Ola Larsson, 41 years old, Purchaser. On leave with his son Gustav, for eight months. "It is important that everybody is free to choose to take time off for parental leave or not. It is the culture that needs to change on a grand scale and more male role models must be promoted. The State needs to become better at providing information regarding the advantages that parental leave gives both parents. I had to dry many tears after I left my son in day care for the first time. It is a true gift to be allowed to create such strong emotional ties to your child that you can thanks to the Swedish parental leave system. You almost have to experience parental leave to understand what you lose before you decide to work instead."
Series Name: Swedish dads
Series Description: No other country provides such generous terms of parental leave as Sweden. The current system allows parents to stay at home with their child during 480 days in total while receiving an allowance from the State. Out of these 480 days, sixty must be taken by the father or else are lost. Legislation is underway to reserve another thirty days for paternity leave.
The purpose of this allocation is to improve gender equality. In order to promote a more equal sharing of parental leave between men and women, a so called equality bonus has also been introduced. The more days that are shared between parents, the higher the bonus. A couple may receive up to 1 500 euro in bonus.
In spite of the generous allowance and bonus unique in their kind,only a fraction of Sweden's dads use all their sixty days of parental leave.
Even fewer parents choose to share the days equally between mother and father.
Copyright: ©Johan Bavman, Sweden, Shortlist, People, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards