France aims to expand paternity leave, require fathers to take it

Fathers in France may soon be able to spend more time with their newborns.

The European country’s president, Emmanuel Macron, is eager to double the time men are allowed to take off for paternity leave from two weeks to 28 days.

In addition, Macron, who shared his goal Wednesday in an Instagram post, hopes to require men to take at least one week of leave after welcoming a child.

The president also went to a child-care center in Longjumeau, a suburb of Paris, on Wednesday.

“When a baby arrives in the world, there is no reason it should be only the mom who takes care of it,” Macron said. “It’s important to have greater equality in sharing responsibilities.”

Women in France are required to take at least eight weeks of maternity leave after welcoming a child, and are eligible to take at a leave of at least 16 weeks for their first child.

For their third child and beyond, mothers can take up to 26 weeks of maternity leave.

Macron stressed the significance of fathers being there with their newborns for the “intimate” moments, too.

Under Macron’s new plan, fathers would receive money daily from the country’s state health insurance system while they are on paternity leave.

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