So Maneka Gandhi believes that if paternity leave was increased that it would just result in the men thinking of it as a holiday and nothing more.
While speaking with the Indian Express Maneka Gandhi said, “Paternity leave can be considered only if, once the woman goes back to work after her 26 weeks of leave, we find that men are availing their sick leave for a month to take care of the child. Let me see how many men do that. I will be happy to give it but for a man, it will be just a holiday, he won’t do anything.”
Now the reason why this topic has been brought up was the increase of maternity leave from the current 12 weeks to a mandatory 26 weeks. On the other hand, paternity leave is a meagre 15 days for government officials, while there being no legislation for it in the private sector.
While doing so, the case for paternity leave too came up, but Maneka Gandhi seems to have a very different opinion on it.
I am not saying that the Indian men are the most chivalrous and that they would be the first to give a helping hand, especially when it comes to domestic duties. But it should also not be considered a fact, which could on the other hand, affects many hundreds of fathers to be or fathers, looking forward to spending quality time with their child and helping their wife.
The reason for not increasing paternity leave is quite biased in my opinion, and should not factor in when creating laws and rules for the general public.
Laws should be created based on what would be the best thing for the party affected, in this case, the child and the mother.
Perhaps the reason many fathers are not attached to their child is because they spent their formative years trying to make a living and ensuring that their family lived in comfort.
I am also not saying that there couldn’t be a downside to that, some men could very well see it as a paid holiday and just while away their time. Not giving a hand and helping out the baby, but as I said above, not a good enough reason to put a pause on increasing paternity leave. Indian men are already infamous for not doing their domestic duties very well, or many not even feeling obliged to do it in the first place.
Also, Maneka Gandhi said that men should first use their sick leave and then she would think of increasing their paternity leave.
Signing off I would just have one question for you, have you ever even tried to take a couple of days leave from an office?
It is very well and good to say that, but you must understand the procedures and rules in place in office. And most companies do not willingly give such a long sick leave unless given legitimate evidence, and to companies, spending time with one’s child is not really incentive enough to lose out on a productive employee.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.