Woman at a radio station (Photo by Jeroen van Loon)

Netherlands Minister 'Ambassador for Caring Fathers'

Netherlands Minister of Social Affairs, Mr. Asscher, received the Dutch country report of State of the World’s Fathers at a daycare centre in Amsterdam on the morning of 17 June.

Netherlands minister Asscher at daycare centreDianda Veldman, director of Rutgers, asked the minister to be an Ambassador for Caring Fathers and to extend paternity leave arrangements so the Netherlands would no longer be the ‘ugly duckling’ of Europe. 

Right now, according to Dutch legislation a (male or female) employee, whether full-time or part-time, is - after the delivery by a partner - entitled to two days of paid (employer-funded) leave (kraamverlof), to be taken within four weeks of birth or the child’s arrival home from hospital.

The Minister who had brought his children to school just before the presentation reinforced the importance of engaged fathers for society and communities.

He also also explained the political difficulties around further extension of paternity leave in the Netherlands. 

Asscher: "Involved fathers are good for society, children, women and fathers themselves. I compliment those employers who have already extended paternity leave on their own."

State of the World's Fathers

This first ever State of the World’s Fathers report brings together key international research findings along with program and policy examples related to men’s participation in caregiving; in sexual and reproductive health and rights; in maternal, new-born, and child health; in violence and violence prevention; and in child development.

One of the finding of the report is that involved fatherhood makes men happier and healthier. Men who are involved in meaningful ways with their children report this relationship to be one of their most important sources of well-being and happiness. Studies find that fathers who report close, non-violent connections with their children live longer, have fewer mental or physical health problems, are less likely to abuse drugs, are more productive at work, and report being happier than fathers who do not report this connection with their children.

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