Ever since the humanity evolved it’s been the mother who is solely responsible for nurturing the child. When the women were homemakers it was easy for them to heal and recover from the process of childbirth and take care of the new born. But as the right to equality, geared up, the early twenty first century saw a huge number of women taking the plunge and contributing equally to the financial growth of the family. Women were now considered at par with men.
But nature has distinguished genders physically. The process of childbirth has to be routed through a woman. So it posed a big question to the society, how to assist women in the process, while taking care of her working status? Many nations passed the bills in their parliament to help women by granting paid leaves during the process. The quantum of leaves varies from nation to nation. There are countries like Swaziland, Papua French Guinea to name a few that are still to consider granting paid maternity leaves.
One would be surprised to know that a nation like Australia, had not passed the maternity bill till 2010. My motherland, India is considered a welfare state. It grants six months paid leaves as maternity to the employees of the government. Men enjoy paternity leaves of a fortnight. In the coming winter session of Parliament the amendment in maternity bill is going to extend the leaves period from 14 weeks to 26 weeks for the women working in the non-governmental establishments.
Across the globe it’s still assumed that mother is the primary care giver to a new arrival. With the changing times there are some men who are breaking stereotypes. This new bunch of men are welcoming baby through the process of surrogacy and adoption. Such men are playing the pivotal role of mother to their baby, where they are doing everything for the baby from feeding, to cleaning, putting to sleep, to singing lullaby, everything that comes to mind when one thinks of a mother!!!
It’s no denial that there always had been this other category of men in the society who were the sole caretakers of the baby, suffered due to lack of thoughtfulness in the implementation of rules. They were the men who lost their wives in the process of delivery leaving the child to them. Though deserving full benefits of child care leaves, they could never avail it due to the gender biases prevailing in the society.
What a welcome move by Deutsche Bank, India by delinking gender from child care leave, at the time when people are still arguing on the quantum of leave for women. It has rolled out a new policy where the leaves will no more be called as paternity /maternity, but will now be known as “Parental” leave. This leave shall be provided to anybody who happens to be the primary care giver to the baby. It also covers the babies welcomed by the process of surrogacy and adoption. It’s such an applauding move. This leave is going to be provided to anybody who declares himself/herself as the primary care giver. The benefits will be entitled to people across Asia Pacific.
We need more companies like Deutsche, who understand that extending such benefits is not only going to help the new parent but will also help win the loyalty of the employee.