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Mother: Why Only Me? Why Don't You Too? By Priyanka Bal

Is it the Sole-Responsibility of the Mother to take care of their child and not the father?

The holistic development of a newborn should be the joint responsibility of both the mother and the father. Our stereotype society expects the mother as a sole-responsible of ones care for their infant. Parental Care must be encouraged for both. Father also has responsibilities to do their fair share for the upbringing of his child. For that Parental leave must be encouraged among our society. The Paternity Benefit Bill, 2017 emerged in Lok Sabha from Congress MP Rajeev Satav’s , after his son was born . It struck him that how fathers in India aren’t expected to lend an equal hand in the matter of taking care of the infants.

India currently has a 15-day paternal leave policy for central government employees (under, CCS (Leave) Rule 43-A), and none for the private or unorganized sector; although several private companies have their own paternal leave policies in places.

In future, India must explore parental leave, a period of longer-term leave available to either or both parents to allow them to look after an infant or young child, as it is not the sole responsibility of the mother for taking care of their children.

Eighteen countries offer paid parental leave equivalent to 2/3rd or more of previous earnings. According to the ILO report, most countries are setting out parental leave as a shared entitlement; where either the mother or the father has the right to take parental leave and the parents determine the allocation of leave themselves.

India being a developing country also needs to ensure gender equality in childcare for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Now is the time to move towards the grant of paternity benefit to ensure equal participation of both the father and the mother in future.