In addition to stigma, the State of the World’s Fathers report shows that financial stress is one of the main reasons that both women and men don’t take as much parental leave as they would like.
In the U.S., where only 29 percent of businesses now offer paid paternity leave, 57 percent of fathers cite financial barriers as the primary reason they couldn’t take more time off to care for their newborns or newly adopted children.
I began my study of global paternity leave policies following my family’s experience. When my wife was pregnant with our third child, we knew I’d be needed at home for caregiving after the birth. The policies I was under (at CNN, part of Time Warner) allowed 10 weeks of paid leave for anyone after having a new child—except a biological father, who could get only two weeks. (In a statement at the time, I explained this in detail.)