Since 1911, when people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland came out in support of equal rights, 8 March has been International Women’s Day.
A survey by Ispos on the event’s website gives insights into attitudes towards gender equality around the world. Some areas, like whether it’s easier to be a man, are controversial and show big differences that depend on whether you ask a man or a woman. Globally, a majority (60%) of women agree that men are at an advantage, while only a minority (41%) of men do.
On other questions, like whether a man who stays home to look after his children is less of a man, men’s and women’s views are in close alignment. Globally, only 16% of women and 20% of men agree with this statement.
In the survey, men sharing more responsibility for raising children and looking after the home was ranked the fourth most important action for achieving equality.
In a Vimentis survey of Swiss voters published last week, a majority (58%) agreed that Switzerland did not offer the conditions necessary for balancing family and professional life, a list including things such as nurseries and flexible working hours. And, 64% supported employers being required to offer mothers part time work when returning to work after the statutory 14 weeks of paid leave.
However, only 16% supported a system offering more than 4 weeks of paid leave specifically for fathers.
It is worth noting that there was no question relating to parental leave, a combined pot of leave than mums and dads can decide how to split. Weak support for paternity leave might to some extent reflect a preference for combined parental leave, a system recommended by Switzerland’s federal commission for family issues (COFF). In February 2019, COFF recommended 38 weeks of paid shared parental leave.
- Swiss government commission favours parental leave over paternity leave (Le News)
- Swiss initiative to grant more paternity leave given official green light (Le News)
Switzerland’s paid maternity leave of 14 weeks is 4 weeks short of the OECD average of 18 weeks. Across the OECD, average paid paternity leave is 1 week. In Switzerland it’s 1 day. An upcoming Swiss referendum, aiming to introduce 4 weeks of paternity leave, would put Switzerland ahead of the OECD average if successful.