#Opinion

Why Childcare Leave For Single Male Parents Is A Milestone Move

childcare leave, Paternity Leave In Airlines, Parenting Dads, pandemic parenting
Yesterday Jammu & Kashmir administration announced that single male parents too were eligible for childcare leaves. Usually, such leaves are reserved for women as society assumes that only mothers take care of children. But now, things are different. The government is now taking steps to make parenting gender-inclusive and about equality.

This isn’t however the first time the government has announced that single male parents are eligible for childcare leaves. In October of 2020, Union Minister Jitendra Singh announced 730 days of childcare leave for divorced, unmarried or widowed male parents. However, this was applicable to government employees only. However, there seems to be little awareness regarding this.

Childcare leave for single male parents breaks so many stigmas around parenting. During a legal separation, the custody of kids is often offered to mothers because society sees them as more efficient parents. As a result, for ages gender roles have been divided between men and women- as bread earners and caregivers respectively. Similarly, single men have to deal with a lot of scrutinies if they decide to embrace parenthood without marriage on agenda.


Suggested Reading: Six Situations When Women Are Stereotyped For While Men Are Celebrated


Research says that increased involvement of dads in the parenting of one-year-olds leads to a better father-child relationship later on. The study also proposes the need to promote positive changes to increase fathers’ involvement in raising kids to improve their relationships.

But the good news is that the positive change has begun. Apart from the childcare leave for single male parents, paternity leave for male parents is also available now. Celebrities like Virat Kohli, Kapil Sharma and more have taken paternity leave to be with their mother and kid despite all the criticisms they received. Their step has been very crucial to normalising the idea of paternity leave and to understanding the importance of a father’s involvement in kids’ development.

Moreover, research in 2020 revealed that fathers today have a better understanding of the importance of parenting and are actively taking part in it. They are spending three times as much time with their children as men did two generations ago. Besides, only three percent of fathers have never changed the diapers of their children. The research adds that fathers who spend time with their children, bathe and dress them, cook food for them and talk to them have a great bond with them. We even reached out to a few fathers from India to know how involved they are in parenting. And their responses clearly showed that we are moving forward in the way of equal parenting. Read more about it here.

So it can undeniably be said that a child’s progress is dependent on fathers’ indulgence in parenting too. We need to stop undermining men’s ability to raise kids. All the moves towards making fathers an active part of parenting are challenging the gender roles and breaking the boundaries. No longer is changing diapers, taking kids to school or homeschooling them a feminine job.

The steps taken towards making parenting gender-inclusive help women too. Moves like paternity leave for men and their greater involvement in parenting has reduced the burden of parenting from women’s shoulders. Often women have to face inequality in the workspace because of their need to take maternity leaves. They are often considered less efficient than male employees as they don’t take any childcare leave. Now that men too have started taking childcare leave, the inequality, both at home and in society, will definitely see a turn of tables.

The views expressed are the author’s own.