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New paternity leave proposals to exclude high earners could be a step backwards for gender equality

Family The Conversation

Excluding high earning dads from paid parental leave is not the answer.
'Pexels A father’s role may have shifted massively in recent decades – from being seen as the main breadwinner or money earner in a household, to being a more active participant in family life. Yet, less than one in three new fathers in the UK currently take paternity leave . This is despite the fact that dads today want to take a more active role in family life. Indeed, many dads say they would consider childcare as a key point when taking up a new job . Research clearly demonstrates the benefits of new dads taking parental leave , including positive impacts on the cognitive outcomes for children and improvements in the quality of a couple’s relationship. So why the disconnect? One of the big reasons uptake of paternity leave has been so low is because of the pay . Under the current system, dads get two weeks paternity leave paid at a statutory rate which is just shy of £150 a week. Some employers enhance this pay but it’s not mandatory. And many dads do not take advantage of this leave because of the financial implications on household budgets. Policies should be geared towards encouraging dads’ involvement in childcare. Shutterstock Families can also choose for both parents to share leave. Shared parental leave, which was introduced in 2015, allows dads to take more than two weeks and parents can share up to 50 weeks of leave (37 weeks of which is paid) if they meet certain eligibility criteria. But again, uptake has been minimal – thought to be a low as 2%. And one of the key reasons for this is the financial implications as it can leave many families out of pocket. Indeed, analysis indicates that parental leave arrangements skew families’ finances in favour of new dads returning to work – even when both parents earn the same. And research shows that there would’ve been a better uptake of paternity leave and shared parental leave if new dads were paid properly. My research also suggests some employers have failed to embrace and normalise shared parental leave in the workplace, meaning that new fathers are less likely to consider taking it. Entrenching inequalities Theresa May’s recent proposal to give men four weeks of paternity leave paid at 90% of their monthly salary and a further eight weeks to be paid at the statutory rate of £148.68 might sound like a step in the right direction. But while the proposed paternity leave would be greatly welcomed by many new fathers, under the proposals high earning dads – those on more than £100,000 a year – wouldn’t be able to access the longer leave time. The new proposals suggest that money could take the place of a dad in a child’s life. Pexels This is concerning and has the potential to take the progress on gender equality several steps back if high earning dads are to be excluded from benefiting from paid parental leave. This is because the proposal overlooks the fact that high earners are disproportionately men and barring them would entrench the inequalities that investments in childcare are supposed to resolve. Indeed, last year, MPs called for 12 weeks paternity leave as a solution to address the gender pay gap problem – acknowledging that gender equality and the gender pay gap problem can only be resolved if dad’s involvement in family life is improved . Redefining gender stereotypes So although the proposed paternity leave would be better paid in the first four weeks and has the potential to ameliorate some of the problems of shared parental leave – such as dads not qualifying for shared parental leave because they have not worked for their employer for long enough – in the long-term, such changes could actually do more harm than good. The paternity leave proposal could also mean that shared parental leave would be replaced by the new system. All of which would promote the unacceptable position of dads being breadwinners and mothers caregivers – a position 21st-century dads (and mums) are working hard to change. It is vital, then, that these proposals are reconsidered and that paternity leave is made available to all working dads irrespective of their earnings. This is important as gender stereotypes and societal perceptions of dads who take on a caring role will only change if everyone has a stake in childcare. Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.'

Conjoined twins separated at Great Ormond Street — after 50 hours of surgery involving 100 staff

Family The Sun

RARE twins born joined at the head have been separated by surgeons in at a London hospital. Safa and Marwa Ullah were born by C-section with their skulls and blood vessels fused together. But the two-year-olds can now move independently after three
'RARE twins born joined at the head have been separated by surgeons in at a London hospital. Safa and Marwa Ullah were born by C-section with their skulls and blood vessels fused together. Safa and Marwa Ullah have finally been separated after 50 hours of surgery The twins underwent three main operations in which veins, bone, brain and tissue were separated But the two-year-olds can now move independently after three major ops at Great Ormond Street . The first took place in October 2018, when the girls, from Charsadda, Pakistan, were 19 months old. And the last operation, which saw them finally separated, was carried out on February 11 this year. In order to ensure the operations went smoothly, experts used virtual reality to create an exact replica of the girls’ anatomy. This enabled surgeons to visualise the complex structure of their skulls as well as the positioning of their brains and blood vessels. A team also used 3D printing to create plastic models of the structures that could be used for practice. Cutting guides were created so that surgeons could work more precisely. BUILDING NEW SKULLS During the surgery, doctors first worked to separate the girls’ blood vessels and then inserted a piece of plastic into their heads to keep the brains and blood vessels apart. The final major operation involved medics building new skulls using the girls’ own bone. They also used tissue expanders to ensure the girls’ own skin would stretch over the top of each of their heads. The surgery, which was paid for by a private donor, has been followed by several smaller procedures to enable the girls to live independent lives. The operations added up to more than 50 hours of surgery time and involved 100 members of staff from Great Ormond Street. The girls’ mum, Zainab Bibi, 34, said: “We are indebted to the hospital and to the staff and we would like to thank them for everything they have done. We are extremely excited about the future.” \t \t \t\t \t\t\t We are indebted to the hospital and to the staff and we would like to thank them for everything they’ve done \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t Zainab Bibi \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t \t \t The girls, whose father has died, were discharged from Gosh on July 1 and moved to a London address with their mum, grandad Mohammad Sadat, 57, and an uncle. The twins are now undergoing daily physiotherapy as part of their ongoing rehabilitation. Neurosurgeon Noor ul Owase Jeelani and craniofacial surgeon Prof David Dunaway led the team that operated on the girls. They said in a statement: “We are delighted we have been able to help Safa and Marwa and their family. It has been a long and complex journey for them, and for the clinical team looking after them. “From our personal point of view, it has been great to get to know the girls and their family. ‘LONG AND COMPLEX JOURNEY’ “Their faith and determination have been so important in getting them through the challenges they have faced. “We are incredibly proud of them. We are also incredibly proud of the Gosh team responsible for their treatment and care over the past 10 months. “From the surgical teams, scientists and engineers who helped us plan and perform the operations to the paediatricians, nursing staff, physiotherapists and occupational therapists “It has been a huge team effort and every single person has played a key part in helping Safa and Marwa. “Gosh really is one of the few hospitals in the world with the infrastructure and expertise to carry out a separation like this successfully.” \t \t\t \t\t \t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t MOST READ IN HEALTH NEWS \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\tOP HORROR\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\tBaby's penis amputated after 'botched circumcision by nurse pretending to be doc'\t\t\t \t\t\t \t \t \t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\tPILL PAY OFF\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\tPrescribe statins to young adults to slash risk of heart disease, docs say\t\t\t \t\t\t \t \t \t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\tHOLEY HELL\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\tThe horrific effects of cocaine eroding giant holes in roof of your mouth\t\t\t \t\t\t \t \t \t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\tTOE WAY!\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\tVid shows woman having fungal bacteria removed from toes after ignoring infection\t\t\t \t\t\t \t \t \t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\tFIGHT FOR CHLOE\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\tBrexiteer David Davis reveals fight to find cure for disabled granddaughter\t\t\t \t\t\t \t \t \t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\tBREAKTHROUGH HOPES\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\tAnorexia ‘might be physical not just mental & treatable with drugs’\t\t\t \t\t\t \t \t \t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t \t \t \t \t Conjoined twins are very rare, affecting only about one in every 2.5million births. Just 5 per cent of conjoined twins are craniopagus, which means they are joined at the head. Gosh has successfully separated craniopagus twins in 2006 and 2011. Around 40 per cent of twins fused at the head are stillborn or die during labour, and a further third die within 24 hours. Gosh said the chance of craniopagus twins undergoing surgery is around one in 10 million. The twins are now undergoing daily physiotherapy as part of their ongoing rehabilitation PA:Press Association PA:Press Association Safa and Marwa Ullah can now move independently after three major ops at Great Ormond Street[/caption] The operations on the miracle tots added up to more than 50 hours of surgery time and involved 100 members of staff PA:Press Association Safa and Marwa Ullah can now move independently after three major ops at Great Ormond Street[/caption] PA:Press Association Conjoined twins are very rare, affecting only about one in every 2.5million births[/caption] \t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t GOT a story? Ring The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or email exclusive@the-sun.co.uk .'

Resourceful Novak Djokovic Snacks on Grass to Celebrate His Wimbledon Win Because Champions Need Fuel

Family TIME

'It's a little tradition obviously'
'Some athletes celebrate a major victory by drinking champagne . Novak Djokovic , on the other hand, celebrates by eating grass. After Djokovic defeated Roger Federer in an unprecedented fifth-set tiebreaker to win Wimbledon 2019 on Sunday, the tennis superstar leaned down and plucked a few strands of grass out of the court before popping them in his mouth. Considering Djokovic has won Wimbledon five times in the past 8 years, paying tribute to the grass court that has played a crucial role in nearly half of his 16 Grand Slam victories seems like the right move. Of course, this isn’t the first time that Djokovic has snacked on the Wimbledon court. He’s been doing it since he first won the tournament in 2011. “It’s a little tradition obviously,” he told the BBC in 2018. “As a kid I was dreaming of winning Wimbledon, so, like every child, you dream of doing something crazy when you actually achieve it — if you achieve it — and that was one of the things.” Watch the video below. Only GOATS eat grass after they win… Djokovic >>> Federer #WimbledonFinal pic.twitter.com/CyRNUyn58V — Tony Liebert (@TonyLiebert) July 14, 2019'