- By Suzanne MerkelsonSuzanne Merkelson is an editorial assistant at Foreign Policy.
This just in from Spain, where apparently equal rights trump biology: The European Union Court of Justice has ruled that Spanish working fathers have the same rights to breastfeeding leave as do working mothers.
Thursday’s ruling grants Spanish dads the same rights as the mother of their child to leave work up to twice a day for a total of an hour or to shorten their workday by 30 minutes for the first nine months of the baby’s life.
The court called the law "an unjustified discrimination on grounds of sex" that fathers weren’t granted breastfeeding leave in the same instances as women were.
All jokes aside, cheers to Spain for recognizing that mothers and fathers should take an equal part in childrearing. The court ruled that the prior law, which only allowed fathers to apply for breastfeeding leave if the mother of their children was fully employed, was "liable to perpetuate a traditional distribution of the roles of men and women by keeping men in a role subsidiary to that of women in relation to the exercise of their parental duties."
Alicia P.Q. Wittmeyer is assistant managing editor for online at Foreign Policy. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and Forbes, among other places. She holds a bachelor's degree from U.C. Berkeley, and master's degrees from Peking University and the London School of Economics. The P.Q. stands for Ping-Quon.| Letters |