Family and Care

04.03.22 | Statistics
Gender equality at work starts at home. Women’s opportunities to work and pursue a career are closely related to their responsibilities for the home, children and family. Better access to childcare, eldercare, and men taking up more household work, means more women in the labour market. Nordic women are among the most employed in the world.

Paternity leave

The share of parental leave taken by fathers – paternity leave – has grown steadily in the Nordics over the past 20 years. Both parents are entitled to generous paid leave, and efforts have been made politically for them to share it more equally. Shared leave is good for fathers, for mothers and for the child, who has a right to both their parents. Certain weeks are earmarked for each parent. Over time “the father quota” has been lengthened and Nordic dads now take more leave than fathers anywhere else in the world. 


Childcare arrangements in the Nordic region are among the most generous in the world. This is reflected by the high share of children in daycare – almost every child between 3-5 years old is enrolled in some form of preschool institution. Access to affordable and quality childcare enables working parents, especially mothers, to pursue careers and combine family and work-life.