Parenting: "British men are good men. We want to do this. We want to be equal" - former Loaded editor says UK needs to follow Sweden's example

'British men want to be viewed as more equal to mothers', says journalist Martin Daubney

Should more be done to encourage 'stay-at-home' dads?

Monday, August 8, 2016

British men are ready to share the parenting responsibility more equally with their partners, but are stuck in society that often does not recognise or value their contribution, a writer and former magazine editor has told talkRADIO.

Martin Daubney, who edited Loaded for eight years, visited Sweden recently to research an article on 'stay at home dads' for The Sunday Times Magazine, and is now calling for people to recognise fathers as able to bring up children in an equal fashion to women.

In Sweden, fathers are entitled to take home nearly 80% of their pay for 390 days of parental leave, split between the two parents, to a maximum of £3,200 a month.

Daubney found many men had taken this opportunity, something he believes isn't practical in the UK due to the prevailing culture, as well as a paternity system of just two weeks paid leave and a statutory £140 a week. 

"Ninety per cent of Swedish dads take between three and nine months off work [to care for their children]," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"[When I was at home with my children] I was more often than not they only bloke at the coffee shop, the only bloke at the family changing rooms. 

"I didn't feel I was respected. My mates took the mickey out of me, but it was the hardest job I've ever done – harder than editing a magazine.

"You've got this unresponsive one-year-old who doesn't listen to anything you say.

"We are denigrated, but British men are good men. We want to do this. We want to take part. We want to be more equal.

"[But] until we are valued in a way where society deems bringing up children isn't just women's work, we are stuck."

Do you agree? Listen to the full interview to find out more, and take a look at our guide to paternity leave around the world