Wednesday, 24 December 2014 - 14:05
Dutch parenting still "old fashioned": report
Dutch people are very old fashioned when it comes to raising their children. Although fathers spent more time on their kids in 2014, it is still the mothers who play the leading role in the family. "The position of the Dutch father is very different than that of fathers in other Western countries. We are actually quite old fashioned", says Renske Keizer, professor of education at the University of Amsterdam. "Here women spend more than twice as much time on the children as men. In Scandinavian countries the division of labor is almost equal." Keizer has been studying fatherhood since September. She is the first in the world to further specialize in this subject. She expects the first results of her two studies next year. Although fathers play an increasingly important role in the family life, the Netherlands is still very traditional compared to other Western countries. Mother cares for the children and work part time, father work full time and is the breadwinner. "This division of roles is maintained from all sides. Both by the government and the prevailing culture", says Keizer. "A man gets two days paid leave when his child is born. One day to be at the birth and one day to register the child at the registry office." she explains. "The signal that the government is issuing with this is: nice that you've had a child, but pay for it yourself." In comparison, women get at least sixteen weeks maternity leave.