We’d be Paternally Grateful – Fathers march for equal rights

AN EQUALITY storm was brewing in Madrid with eight Spanish fathers taking to the streets in an effort to secure equal paternity leave. 

The fathers accompanied by their wives and babies in prams went marching to the court on Tuesday 15 to demand the same, 16 weeks, of paternity off. 

“At the moment we take complete responsibility for raising the children and it isn’t fair,” Marta Jimenez, one of the protestors, told Spanish daily El País.

Signs were brandished with the slogans “end maternity leave discrimination” and “equal rights with 100 per cent pay”.

No response had been given following the couples asking the Social Security office for equal parental leave. A legal case has now been instigated due to this lack of response. 

The march comes a few days before Father’s Day this weekend. 

“It seems completely fair to protest for equal leave to look after our children because it is a task that requires a lot of time and dedication,” said Raul Sanchez.

The disgruntled parents were joined by lawyers and representatives from Ppiina – The Platform for Equal and Untransferable Leave for Births and Adoptions. 

They made a statement saying that the fathers’ demands were based on the Spanish constitution, as well as the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

They continued that both of these points “prohibit any discrimination for reasons of gender and enshrine the right of equality between men and women in all areas”. 

Currently fathers receive 15 days paternity leave whereas mothers get 16 weeks maternity. Mother are also entitled to donate up to 10 weeks of their entitlement to their husbands. 

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