Saturday marked International Women’s Day.
Na’amat – Movement of Working Women & Volunteers on Thursday debuted a campaign asking fathers to take responsibility through joint parenting.
“The idea of the campaign is that if fathers become partners in raising their children, the gaps between mothers and fathers in the workplace will diminish and eventually disappear,” Galia Wolloch, president of Na’amat Israel, told The Jerusalem Post.
According to Wolloch, employers (and society as a whole) see women as responsible for raising children, so when the time comes to promote an employee, they prefer to promote a man above a woman. This in turn leads to “ridiculous wage gaps” and inequality in the workplace.
“Why should only women stay home and take care of the children when they are sick? Why can’t fathers take a day off work to take their children to get vaccinated? Why can’t fathers pick up their children from pre-school even twice a week? Why can’t fathers also share the responsibility?” Wolloch asked.
As more fathers share the burden of raising their children, gender barriers will slowly break down and women will advance in the workplace and in all areas of society, she said.
As part of the campaign, Na’amat launched a hotline offering counseling for fathers wanting to become more involved in raising their children.
“This also includes the need for fathers to also receive rights from their employers,” Wolloch said.
Today, she explained, new mother get three months paid maternity leave that they are entitled to share with fathers, though fewer than half a percent of fathers do so.
Na’amat, in an effort to promote gender equality, is working on advancing a bill sponsored by MK Erel Margalit (Labor), which would grant fathers three weeks of paid paternity leave, in addition to the three months maternity leave granted to mothers.
The bill would allow men to spend time at home taking care of the baby and join in parenting responsibilities, Wolloch said.