Fathers on Leave Alone in Iceland: Normal Paternal Behaviour?

Ingólfur V. Gíslason*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Iceland has for a number of years enjoyed a reputation as one of the most gender equal countries in the world. The setting should therefore be excellent for an active involvement of fathers in the traditional tasks of mothers in caring for young children. This was radically facilitated in 2000 when the Icelandic parliament adopted a new law on parental leave which greatly increased the possibilities of fathers in this field. Statistics and studies show that fathers generally make use of their rights and that it is socially well acceptable for fathers to be at home with their children. This chapter explores the experience of a sample of fathers who have been at home alone for a fairly long period, taking between 1 and 7 months of parental leave to care for their infant. The fathers do not see their involvement with their children as an act of gender subversion but mainly as a personal and familial opportunity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLife Course Research and Social Policies
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameLife Course Research and Social Policies
ISSN (Print)2211-7776
ISSN (Electronic)2211-7784

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, The Author(s).

Other keywords

  • Child Care
  • Gender Equality
  • Labour Market
  • Parental Leave
  • Traditional Gender Role


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