A1 Journal article – refereed

Äidin oikeus, isän kannustin - vanhempainpäiväraha sukupuolistuneena sääntelynä

List of Authors: Marika Kytölä

Publisher: Suomalainen lakimiesyhdistys

Publication year: 2017

Journal: Lakimies

Journal acronym: LM

Volume number: 115

Issue number: 2

Number of pages: 21


Gendered parental allowances – mother’s right
and father’s opportunity

The article shows with discourse analysis how
Chapter nine of the Finnish Health Insurance Act’s parenthood allowances
construct and differentiate gender. Finnish parental allowance legislation is
usually described as gender neutral. A closer view shows that the parental
leave system’s so-called gender neutrality is closer to gender blindness. Maternity
allowances and paternity allowances are directly based on the parent's sex and
the law differentiates motherhood and fatherhood. The law assumes that mothers
are automatically nurturing but fathers need legislation to encourage them be
more nurturing.

Parental allowance is gender neutrally named
and regulated to be shared between the mother and the father. The parental
allowance’s background is the idea of equality of parenthood. However, the
regulation isn’t constructed in a neutral or equal way. The whole allowance
system is based on the nuclear family’s mother’s privilege. The father’s
individual right to allowances is always constructed as an exception.

The Finnish parental leave system makes tight
and rigid categories for mothers and fathers. The categories don’t flex or give
space for individual parenthood. How can we solve the problems that gender
based mother and father allowances, and neutrally named but gender based
parental allowances cause? Swedish and Norwegian legislations provide examples
of how the legislation can be constructed in a way that gives space to
individual parents and diversity of parenthood.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 10:32