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Maendeleo ya Wanaume backs three-month paternity leave petition

Paternity leave petition

Maendeleo ya Wanaume (Mawe), a men’s rights organization, has backed a petition that would give male employees the same amount of leave days at childbirth as female employees.

The proposal is by Dr. Magare Gikenyi, based in Nakuru. 

Maendeleo ya Wanaume chairman Nderitu Njoka, in an interview with Nation. Africa has supported the proposal.

He says the proposal will ensure equality at the workplace.

In Kenya, male employees are entitled to two weeks of paid paternity leave, while female employees are entitled to three months of maternity leave.

Mr. Njoka stated that fathers, too, require adequate time to care for and bond with their newborns.

“We are very happy with this petition as it is meant to ensure men will no longer be discriminated against. Both men and women need to be treated equally when it comes to maternity and paternity leave because both are important to a child,” said Mr. Njoka.

On the same note, he appealed to men to speak out whenever their rights are violated.

The medical practitioner claims in the petition that the disparity in the number of leave days granted to men and women under the Employment Act (2007) is a clear act of discrimination that harms numerous employees.

According to Dr. Gikenyi, a scientific study has demonstrated that dads play an equivalent role in the first three months following childbirth and, as a result, should be given the same number of leave days as their spouses.

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He claims that a father plays a role in childhood development, particularly in the first few days, citing research titled Father Involvement and Cognitive Development in Early and Middle Childhood.

Hungary, Sweden, Estonia, Iceland, Slovenia, and Norway are among the countries that provide equal three-month maternity and paternity leave to men and women.

Unicef published a report in 2019 that looked at legally protected leave for new parents in 41 of the world’s wealthiest countries and found that 26 of them offered paid paternity leave and 40 offered paid leave for new mothers.

Between 1994 and 2015, the number of nations with statutory paternity leave laws increased from 49 to 94 percent, according to the International Labour Organization.

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