Powerful Photos of Aussie Dads & Kids Spark Needed Dialogue about Parental Leave


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Swedish photographer Johan Bavman took some awesomely powerful photos of Aussie dads, and for a very good reason. Highlighting the inequality between men and women when it comes to paid family leave, the photographs—part of the Aussie Dads exhibition at the Sydney Opera House—are stunning examples of the caring, nurturing and completely necessary role that dads play every day for their kids.

Bavman noted that in his home country of Sweden, dads are encouraged to take time off from work to care for their kiddos. The lucky Swedes get a grand total of 480 days off for both parents, with at least 90 days taken by dad or the second partner. Whoa!

By comparison in Australia, only one in 20 dads takes paternity leave. The disparity between the two countries is what led the photographer to this project—and the results were stunningly sweet photos of men taking active roles as primary parents.


So where in the world do dads get the best deal when it comes to paid parental leave? Well it isn’t in the United States. Apparently the idea of paid leave for dads is so laughable in the United States that googling autocorrects your search results to “Does the U.S. have paid maternity leave?”

In 2016, the Pew Research Center ranked 41 nations according to the amount of paid paternity leave they offered. America landed at the very bottom. Estonia topped the list with 87 weeks of paid leave. No, not 87 days. That’s 87 weeks—as is over a year. The other countries topping the list included Bulgaria, Hungary, Japan, Lithuania and Austria.

If you’re wondering where Australia falls on the list, at number 38 it wasn’t much higher up than the United States.

—Erica Loop

Featured Photo: Rhone via Unsplash 



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