Yes, how much power do politicians really have?
Over the years, many of them have had a strong desire to go beyond biology. At least in terms of gender equality, some politicians had an over-belief in what political decisions could achieve.
Perhaps this was what happened twenty years ago, when Audun Lysbakken and Heikki Holmås thought they had discovered the ultimate solution to the problem of equal pay. The solution was simply to split the parental leave into two equal parts! This idea was soon followed by the Equal Pay Committee and the Men’s Committee.
Some professionals have tried to warn people with sophisticated experience in the field of juniors. Both were the subject of ridicule and invisible by both politicians and the press. However, knowledge about children’s need for attachment increased. Moms started saving so he could take a few months off of an unpaid binder after giving birth.
Today it has become very popular.
This was also confirmed by a new marine navigation survey. Nearly half of all mothers have taken unpaid leave in the past year. The proportion increased sharply after the paternal ration moved from ten to fifteen weeks. In other words, things did not go as the politicians had imagined when they decided to take three-part parental leave.
One does not need to read about breastfeeding or attachment to understand that a seven-month-old is not ready to be separated from the mother for several hours. For most babies this age, it’s bad enough if mom leaves the room. Precisely at the age at which Norwegian politicians have decided that the mother should return to work, the child’s anxiety about separation is at its peak. Also, brain development is not served by a constant rise in the level of stress hormone as a result of the absence of the mother.
I would go so far as to claim that with our approved vacation plan, we are traumatizing our children that may have unforeseen consequences.
Although there are some politicians and gender equality researchers today who are now wondering about the high percentage of mothers who take unpaid leave, I know there are also many who are breathing a sigh of relief. I think of attachment researchers, psychologists, and others who know the importance of first prime time – and who now hope that this can mean change for the very young. Which has now renewed hope of seeing positive outcomes for these 15-20 years in the future, in the form of fewer mental illnesses among young adults and fewer young people on disability benefits.
Lysbakken and Holmås were perhaps a little optimistic when they thought they had found the ultimate solution to the problem of equal pay.
We now see that we cannot base the country’s gender equality policy on mothers of children who have to give up their maternal instinct. We cannot expect new mothers to reduce breastfeeding, or downplay the importance of their children’s best interests, in favor of four to five months of leave.
Perhaps the maternal instinct is stronger than that.
Therefore, the politics of gender equality will sometimes be about discrimination. Yes, often, in fact. If it is not taken into account that it is the woman who conceives, gives birth and breastfeeds, this leads to an unreasonable form of discrimination.
At the same time, it is paradoxical that the more the mother is taken into account in this vulnerable period of life, the more “freedom” she will be given to the exercise of her maternal role, the greater will be her societal benefit. Since the foundation of life itself is laid in the first 1001 days, we as a society will be of little use in getting mothers of children back to paid work as soon as possible.
Perhaps the French women’s rights activist Simone de Beauvoir is still right, claiming that we will have no real equality as long as women give birth and breastfeed. At least it doesn’t seem like a solution to close your eyes to these ancient biological facts.
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