3 Father Friendliest Country: Slovenia
In 2001, Slovenia jumped on board with paternity leave rights with its Parental Protection and Family Benefit Act, which expanded the state-sponsored parental leave that had been in place since 1986 [source: European Working Conditions Observatory]. The Eastern European nation mandates 15 days of paid paternity leave for men, along with an additional 75 unpaid days, specifically intended to get fathers more actively involved in childcare and family support on the domestic front [source: International Labor Organization]. Moreover, parents can also split up a 260-day parental leave allotment, which is unpaid -- aside from social security provisions [source: European Working Conditions Observatory]. Income and workplace pressure pose a challenge for many men, who often opt for a little more than a week of time off. For example, only 2 percent of Slovenian fathers stayed home beyond the paid 15-day window in 2003 [source: Stropnik]. Regardless, the initiative represents a European trend toward fostering more gender equitable parenting.