Virginia 518 us 515 533 1996 holding that the equal

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Virginia, 518 U.S. 515, 533 (1996) (holding that the Equal Protection Clause precluded states from relying on "overbroad generalizations about the different talents, capacities, or preferences of males and females"). 146. See JAFNRETTISSTOFA, CENTRE FOR GENDER EQUALITY ICELAND, GENDER EQUALITY IN ICELAND: INFORMATION ON GENDER EQUALITY ISSUES IN ICELAND 16-17 (2012), available at in Iceland_012012.pdf (noting that in 2007, fathers used an average of 101 days of paternity leave, and mothers used an average of 181 days of maternity leave); see also Gunn, supra note 10 (discussing that the Icelandic policy of giving both parents nontransferable parental leave has resulted in fewer women taking extended maternity leave, the effect of which has been a decrease in the long-term income and promotion disparity between men and women, because the total amount of parental leave is now more evenly shared). 147. Eydal & Rostgaard, supra note 10, at 165. 148. Jonsdottir, supra note 98, at 16. 149. Id. at 17. 150. GUDNY BJORK EYDAL, EQUAL LEGAL RIGHTS TO PAID PARENTAL LEAVE-THE CASE OF ICELAND 13 tbl.4 (2009), available at . net/conference2009/paper2/2A%20-%20G-Eydal.pdf [hereinafter EQUAL LEGAL RIGHTS] (showing that in 2007, 21.2% of fathers in Iceland used more than their basic rights); see also Thorgerdur Einarsd6ttir_& Gyda Margr6t-P~tursd6ttir, Iceland, . leavenetwork.org/fileadmin/Leavenetwork/Country-notes/Iceland.published.oct-2010.pdf (last visited Feb. 2, 2014) (asserting that 21.2% of "fathers took some of the parents' joint rights"). 20151
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HOUSTON JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW strolling with their babies," and community "mother's meetings" soon became "parents' meetings." 151 By contrast, in the United States, men are unlikely to take paternity leave due to many families' inability to sacrifice the father's income (which is usually higher than the mother's), social stigma of men taking leave from employment to care for children, or men's concerns that temporarily leaving the workforce will interfere with the possibility of promotion. 152 Adoption of a plan similar to Iceland's that designates a period of paid leave as only for fathers could address some of these concerns by encouraging men to use the leave to which they alone are entitled, thereby gradually removing the social stigma and increasing the expectation that taking paternity leave will not socially or financially disadvantage an employee. 153 As a result, men's more frequent use of paternity leave should likewise help to balance the inequities faced by women while taking maternity leave. 154 One unintended consequence of the implementation of paternity leave in Iceland was that some men had the unfortunate experience of being terminated after taking paternity leave. 15 5 Although this was certainly not the goal of 151. Skfilad6ttir, supra note 107. Notably, regarding the shift to "parents' meetings," one interviewee stated, "[tihis is perhaps not what matters most, but it still does matter, words can say so much," highlighting the important symbolic nature of the terminology used when discussing parenthood. Id.
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