133 as a probable result of the enactment of the

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133 As a probable result of the enactment of the Iceland Act, Iceland's birth rate is the highest in Europe, at 2.10 children per woman. 134 This high birth rate has been attributed to the fact that the Iceland Act not only covers both women and men, but that leave is paid for all parents, so parents believe they are well-equipped to give birth to and raise more children. 13 5 B. Paid Leave Iceland's Maternity/Paternity Leave Fund exists to ensure that both parents may take paid leave to care for a new child. 36 This provision is intended to promote a dual earner/carer model in which mothers and fathers both take equal responsibility for earning income and caring for the child. 137 As a possible result of the provision of paid leave to both parents, in the years since the implementation of the Iceland Act, studies indicate that marriage and childbirth no longer decrease women's interest in workplace promotions. 138 Another study reported that most surveyed respondents believed the Iceland Act had "significantly improved women's position in the 133. See Jonsdottir, supra note 98, at 17. 134. WORLD ECON. FORUM, supra note 6, at 220; see Iceland Tops European Birth Rate Chart, EXPATICA (Mar. 21, 2009), Iceland-tops-European-birth-rate-chart-_50817.html (stating that Iceland's 2008 birth rate of 2.14 children per women was not only the highest birth rate in Europe that year, but also Iceland's highest birth rate since 1960). 135. See Iceland Tops European Birth Rate Chart, supra note 134 (noting that the more advantageous compensations for both mothers and fathers on leave had also contributed to the [birth rate] increase"); see also Eydal & Rostgaard, supra note 10, at 164 (stating that Nordic welfare policies seem to enable an improved fertility rate). 136. See Iceland Act, supra note 95, §§ II, art. 4, IV, art. 8 (stating that both parents shall have an independent entitlement). 137. GUDNi BJORK EYDAL & TINE ROSTGAARD, Toward a Nordic Childcare Policy-The Political Processes and Agendas, in PARENTAL LEAVE, CHILDCARE AND GENDER EQUALITY IN THE NORDIC COUNTRIES 149, 151, 158-61 (Ing6lfur V. Gislason & Gubn Bj6rk Eydal eds., 2011). 138. See Jonsdottir, supra note 98, at 12 (showing that "women's attitudes towards promotions and management position changed between 1994 and 2006"). 20151
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HOUSTON JO URNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW labour market." 139 However, a 2008 study found few couples believed the Iceland Act creates more equality between parents, as mothers are still primarily responsible for housework and childcare. 140 As a notable comparison to FMLA, the Iceland Act also provides for thirteen weeks of unpaid parental leave for each parent, which may be used to attend to various childcare duties before the child is 18 years old. 141 However, one survey revealed that only 34.7% of parents were aware of their right to take this leave, and of those who were aware, only 25.5% had utilized it.
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  • Fall '17
  • David Capco
  • Biology, FMLA, ........., Leave, parental leave

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