Tamil Nadu Maternity Bill: Working Women Speak Out
Unveiling healthcare initiatives worth over Rs 1,400 crore, Jayalalithaa on Thursday said maternity leave for women government employees will be increased from the present six months to nine, fulfilling her party’s electoral promise. This move comes soon after the Rajya Sabha passed the maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, increases maternity leave from the current 12 weeks to 26 weeks. Even as governments at state level and the centre seem to be on a mission to woo mothers, it’s interesting to note what some of the working women have to say about these initiatives.
Maternity Leaves are something every woman requires during pregnancy
Devika Paul, who works at Infosys in Tamil Nadu, and is a mother to one, said this to SheThePeople.TV“ I personally think that Maternity leaves are something that every woman requires during Pregnancy, our body is not the same, we tend to be sick so I think finally a Woman CM is understanding and acting on behalf of her fellow Women. I applaud her grant.”
Payal Verma, a Law Practitioner at Kolkata High Court opined this to SheThePeople.TV “ I have worked in The States, the concept of stay at home mom is not very prevalent nor cost effective for a family residing there, hence their government has since a long time understood and acted upon the demands of the working women population, it’s a relief to finally see India gearing up to International Levels.”
The duration of maternity leave in Tamil Nadu is now well ahead of the same in the United States (12 weeks), Switzerland (14 weeks), Italy (20 weeks) France and the Netherlands (16 weeks).Only Germany (56 weeks), Canada and Denmark (52 weeks) and Norway (36-46 weeks) rank higher than the state in terms of maternity benefits.
We have already been granted a 6 month leave, why ask for more
Some working women though are not really gung-ho about this move. “ On one end we say we want gender equality, we want rights treating us equally then why we want to treated specially, until and unless your body does not demand rest from work, we should try and stay as well and working as possible.” says Chetnaa Karnani of Market concepts Kolkata to SheThePeople.TV
“ We have already been granted a 6 month leave, why ask for more, look and idolize stars like Kareena Kapoor who are making Pregnancy sound like a cake walk. She recently made headline by her statements on pregnancy, I support her, pregnancy is something very natural.” comments Nupur Kedia, a photo Journalist for Cover Asia Magazine, based in Chennai, to SheThePeople.TV
Seems like it’s a divided house as far as opinions from working women are concerned What do you think about the issue? Do post your views in the comments section below.
Feature Image Credit: thestylist.co.uk