The decision was made on Sunday’s meeting attended by members of the party with minister for gender equality Maria Arnholm saying it would help close the income gap between the sexes.
“Women have lower wages and lower pensions. We know this because they take the main responsibility for home and family. Increasing gender equality in parental leave means we are also increasing opportunities for higher wages and higher pensions,” she said in a press release.
Sweden’s 16-month parental leave can be taken by either mothers or fathers with women claiming the majority of it which is typically 75 per cent.
Fathers were obligated to take one month of this leave in 1995 and a second mandatory month for Dads was introduced in 2002. Parental leave can be used any time up until the child turns eight years old.
When asked if the third month for fathers should be imposed by force Arnholm replied; “There is the possibility to be at home with the children for 13 months and to reserve three of them for each of the parents is a good opportunity to get higher wages and higher pensions.”
The minister added that fathers are still only taking up about 20% of total parental leave.
“It’s far too slow, a third month is an important gender reform.”
Statistics recently released by the social insurance office (Försäkringskassan) revealed that fathers represented a third if those on parental leave in August compared with 20% in December.
In total men’s overall use of paternity leave has grown to almost a quarter. Much of that is attributed to the mandatory two dad months which was a key component of balancing out the leave among both parents.