Swedish men urged to share domestic duties

The Swedish male has been inspected and found wanting by a government panel which believes fathers would be happier sharing child-caring and other domestic duties equally with their working wives. Most Swedish men appear to be ignoring that advice, even though government policy and financial realities have pushed 83 percent of Swedish women with preschool children into the labor market. The losers are the men, says Stig Ahs, who chaired the panel.

Sweden offers both mother and father almost a full year of parental leave at government expense, to be taken one at a time by either parent, married or unmarried. But a recent study found that 80 percent of all eligible fathers keep right on working.

``We have paid a very high price for the traditional male role. . .,'' Mr. Ahs said in an interview. He said suicides, alcoholism, and criminality are much more common among Swedish men than women.

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