The campaign “Reconciling Work and Family Life in Europe” aimed at promoting policies that enable the reconciliation of work and family life as a win-win situation for all European families and employers.

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article-why-a-penguin-illuThe Emperor penguin represents gender equality and sharing of responsibilities in parenting. Do you want to know why?

Once the female penguin lays its half-a-kilo egg, the mother’s nutritional reserves are exhausted and she very carefully transfers the egg to the male, before immediately returning to the sea for two months to feed. It is then the male penguin that takes care of the egg and incubates it in a fold of abdominal skin for about 65 days using the stored fat. After two months, the female returns and the parents take turns for aging at sea and take care of the baby penguin.

We could not find a better natural example of gender equality and sharing of responsibilities in parenting. For that reason, we adopted the symbol of the penguin for our campaign, and then in other publications. In addition, this also supports our idea to promote the breaking down of stereotypical gender roles, and to ensure true gender equality in both spheres of family life, within the caring and the working roles.

We started using the penguin in 2013 as the official logo of our campaign for Reconciling Work and Family Life in Europe, officially launched in 2014. However, the idea of the Emperor Penguin as symbol of reconciliation was originally proposed by the Polish Presidency of the European Union in 2011 at the “Expert Conference on Mechanisms for reconciling professional and family roles for women and men as a chance to actively participate in the labour market” held on 20-21 October 2011 in Cracow. The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy presented a proposal of the Emperor penguin as logotype promoting the idea of reconciliation between professional and family roles of women and men.