To appeal to Government to convert Maternity Leave to Parental Leave
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The GOI increased paid maternity leave from twelve weeks to twenty six weeks for the organized sector. While this step is meant to support and empower working women, in reality, it will further reinforce the existing stereotype that childcare is the sole responsibility of the mother, whereas there is evidence that points to the presence of the father leading to better child development.
This move will create further hurdles for career women. More and more companies will be deterred from hiring/promoting women, and giving them key assignments that lead to senior leadership roles. Research has shown that one of the barriers that women face in their career is the brunt of career breaks, primarily due to child birth.
Taking inspiration from Nordic countries, we would like to ask the Government of India to convert "Maternity Leave" to "Parental Leave", that will allow for either parents or a combination of parents to avail this leave and take care of the child.
If men have the opportunity to take parental leave, it would remove the unnecessary disadvantage that women face in their careers and level the playing field.
For more insights, refer: MATERNITY LEAVE AMENDMENT- Why target only mums?
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