The Guardian reports on a feminist proposal the likes of which is common in much of Europe and relatively unheard of in the United States:

Radical proposals to extend statutory paid maternity leave by a further six months and earmark a portion for fathers only under a so-called “daddy leave” scheme could feature in Labour’s election manifesto for a third term in government, it emerged last night. The plan was floated in a speech by the children’s minister, Margaret Hodge, who said it would give working parents the chance to spend the crucial first year of their new baby’s life at home, while recognising the important role of fathers who, even with limited paid leave, rarely take time off at this stage.

Not surprisingly, European states which allow longer maternity leave, and which provide for paternity leave as well, have made significantly more progress in narrowing the gender wage gap. If the Democratic party wants to reclaim the rhetoric of “family values” from the right, and demonstrate its recognition that feminism is not only a middle-class issue, this would be a good place to start.


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