The Guardian

'The Daddy quota': how Quebec got men to take parental leave

In 2006, the province adopted a groundbreaking social policy to create a more equal society
Daniel Goldsmith and Giulia Zaccagnini with their sons Joachim (left) and Gabriel in their home in Montreal, Quebec. Photograph: Christinne Muschi/Guardian

When Daniel Goldsmith’s first son was born in Quebec in 2013, he took the newborn on a trip to Colorado Springs, the US town in which he grew up.

“I’d smile at a mother in a coffee shop, because her baby was the same age as mine, just weeks old,” he recalls. “And then she’d tell me she was going back to work the following week.”

Goldmith, a humanities teacher in Montreal, spoke to old friends about their experiences with babies and work. “It just sounded like the definition of insanity: mothers going back to work two weeks after a baby was born; fathers taking two days off.”

The 35-year-old had emigrated

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