Do Working Mothers In Parliament Receive Adequate Support?

Andhra Pradesh's youngest MP, Goddeti Madhavi, brings attention to childcare challenges in Parliament. While the Centre addressed the issue in 2018, the recent incident underscores the continuous need for accessible support for working mothers.

Lisha Kannan
New Update

Image Source from Sarkari Express

In the recent Parliament budget session, Andhra Pradesh's YSRCP (Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party) Lok Sabha MP, Goddeti Madhavi, made headlines as the youngest participant, holding her newborn during the proceedings. Seeking blessings, she met PM Narendra Modi on February 10 and later posed on the Parliament building's stairs with her baby. The day before, her baby met Andhra Pradesh's Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.


Working Mothers in Parliament

This event sheds light on a persistent issue raised by NCP MLA Saroj Babulal Ahire in December 2022 regarding the lack of facilities, like feeding rooms or a creche, at the Maharashtra Assembly. Notably, in 2017, BJP MP Maneka Gandhi also expressed concerns about the absence of a creche facility at the Parliament. Consequently, in 2018, the Centre announced plans to establish a daycare centre at the Parliament.

Highlighting the broader context, it's crucial to mention Section 11A of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act in India. This section mandates establishments with 50 or more employees to provide nearby creche facilities for working mothers. This legal provision aims to support and facilitate working mothers by ensuring access to childcare services while they fulfil their professional responsibilities.

Bridging Gaps – A Look at Recent Initiatives for Childcare Support

The experiences of Madhavi and the efforts made by Maneka Gandhi in 2017 underscore the ongoing challenges faced by women in balancing parliamentary duties with childcare responsibilities. The absence of suitable facilities, like feeding rooms and creches, not only hampers the MPs' ability to discharge their duties effectively but also underscores a broader societal need for supportive infrastructure.

The positive step taken by the Centre in 2018 to address this issue demonstrates a recognition of the importance of supporting working mothers. Establishing a daycare centre at the Parliament is a tangible solution that aligns with the legal framework provided by the Maternity Benefit Act. However, the recent incident brings to light the necessity for continued efforts to ensure the effective implementation and accessibility of these facilities across various legislative bodies in the country.

Essentially, the presence of Goddeti Madhavi with her newborn in the Parliament budget session brings attention to the ongoing challenges faced by women in politics regarding childcare. While legal provisions exist to mandate creche facilities, the need for consistent efforts to implement and enhance these facilities remains crucial for fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for working mothers in the political arena.

women in politics Women MPs Goddeti Madhavi