Target: Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of the Lok Sabha
Goal: Encourage the passage of a law that will give new mothers twice as much paid maternity leave as they currently have.
The amount of time new mothers are given to recover after childbirth could be greatly extended by the passage of a proposed amendment to India’s Maternity Benefit Act. The bill would also grant paid maternity leave to “commissioning and adopting mothers” to help them negotiate the new responsibilities of parenthood. This amendment is a modern, progressive step for India. Sign the petition and encourage the passage of the amendment.
New mothers in India are currently allowed 12 weeks of paid maternity leave by law. The new amendment would more than double that time to 26 weeks, and would grant the 12 weeks of leave to women who have become mothers through adoption or a surrogate. The new regulations would put India third (after Norway and Canada) in terms of paid maternity leave time and would be a triumph for working mothers in a largely male-dominated workforce.
The amendment has already passed in the Rajya Sabha, one of India’s houses of Parliament. It now must go before the Lok Sabha, the second house of Parliament, for approval before it is sent onward to the president. Sign the petition and urge the Lok Sabha to pass the amendment.
Dear Smt. Mahajan,
I am writing to urge you to champion the passage of an amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act. The proposed changes to the law would put India third in the world in terms of paid maternity leave and would prove immensely beneficial to women, their children, and the workforce. Please help ensure the approval of this long-overdue amendment.
Childbirth obviously puts serious strain on one’s body and health. An extended maternity leave of 26 weeks (as opposed to the current 12 weeks) would allow women to better recuperate and return to their jobs when they are ready and healthy, rather than while they are still trying to recover.
Additionally, parenthood brings with it many new responsibilities, routines, and discoveries, all of which can prove stressful and exhausting. That’s why I feel this bill is so necessary–it also allows adoptive and commissioning mothers the time they need to re-calibrate their lives and families.
Critics of the bill may argue that it will be detrimental to the workforce because it allows employees to take long absences, thus inconveniencing or disadvantaging their employers. However, I believe that the law promotes the retention of female employees because it does not force them to choose between motherhood and a career. With fair maternity leave, having a child need not be a career-ending decision.
I am extremely excited to see this amendment pass, and I urge you to support it as well.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: TIpsTImesAdmin