There is some talk in Australia of introducing paid parental leave in the next budget and it's about time. Australia is one of only five countries in the world that don't offer any paid maternity leave (the others are the US, Papua New Guinea, Liberia and Swaziland). The United Nations recommends 16 weeks paid at 100% for women, and 4 weeks paid at 100% for men.
There are many social, health and economic benfits to paid parental leave. Primarily bonding, breastfeeding and women in the workforce.
Getup's current campaign for paid parental leave points out that "research shows the continuous interaction between babies and parents in the baby’s first twelve months of life shapes the brain wiring – affecting how a child regulates their emotions, communicates, solves problems, thinks logically and reacts to the world." Australian women are breastfeeding their children for less than the World Health Organisation recommendation of 6 months.
Sign Getup's petition for paid parental leave here.