Stakeholders from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Academicians, gender based activists, among others Faith based organisations have endorsed the Private Member Bill that sought to extend maternity leave from three to four for women and also introduce a week leave for men.

The stakeholders also endorsed the Bill that sought to amend the VAT Act to remove taxes on sanitary pads and related products in the country.

The Member of Parliament for Madina Constituency, Hon Francis-Xavier Sosu, who sponsored the Bills is seeking parliamentary enacting for parental leave, ranging from seven days to four weeks for fathers to support their spouses after childbirth,

According to him, the parental leave bill and the sanitary pads removal bill will address the gender gap.

He, argued that, an extensive leave for working parents to replace the existing three-month maternity leave is practically insufficient for women.

Speaking at the Stakeholders” engagement in parliament on Monday, March 4, Mr. Sosu, a Human Rights Lawyer, observed that the Maternity Leave Extension; Paternity Leave Introduction and removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on imported pads Bill would not affect employers and employee relationship.

The stakeholder’s engagement, he said would afford the drafters of the Bill which received favourable from the female caucus in parliament to strengthen its application when enacted.

The Bill, which seeks to amend the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), is also proposing an option for an additional two weeks of maternity leave in the case of a caesarean section (CS), stillbirth(s) or multiple births.

The Bill’s primary objective is to promote gender equality and ensure protection for both men and women in a suitable context.

The Labour (Amendment) Bill, 2023, also known as Parental Leave for All, is pushing for the introduction of paid paternity leave for men for a minimum of seven days.

It is aimed at allowing new mothers adequate time to give birth, exclusively breastfeed, care for and bond with their new baby, as well as recover before returning to work.

The essence of paternity leave is to enable men to take care of their wives and assist the new mothers with domestic chores.

This, Mr Sosu emphasised that the proposed parental leave for fathers was pivotal in fostering shared responsibility in childcare.

“The significance of the initial seven days will allow fathers to actively participate in late-night feedings and baby care, thereby contributing to the establishment of a strong bond with their newborns.”

“I have had some women say why do you want men to also have parental leave? Well, and I said, it’s the same thing. The advocacy in terms of bridging the gender gap has to do with protection for both men and women,” the MP said.

He noted that the initial seven days were a critical period for “responsible” fathers to be present during late-night baby care, fostering a deeper connection with their newborns and providing support to their wives who had given birth.

Some of the Gender Advocates who took turns to share their views on the Bills endorsed the Bills and called for the availability of sanitary pads to students in various schools as part of their prospectus.

On her part, the Second Deputy Minority Whip and MP for Ada, Hon Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe, MP of Ada, said the affordability and availability of sanitary pads were a fundamental necessity to health, dignity, and access to education.

“The call for the elimination of import duties and Value Added Tax is rooted in the belief that financial barriers should not deny anyone their basic human right to menstrual hygiene,” she said.

Hon Gifty Twum Ampofo, a former Deputy Minister for Education and MP for Abuakwa North called for emotionless and non-partisanship deliberation on the Bills in order to get the realistic input from concern stakeholders.

She assured of her fervent support to the Bills, which in her considered view would be a landmark law to protect the interest of women and girls in the country.

She urged that stakeholders be guided by the interest of both the employer and the employee to maintain the working relationship and for societal progress.

The event was graced by Chiefs and Queen Mothers, Academician’s, Gender Advocates groups, TUC, GNAT, NAGRAT, among others.



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