Maternity leave is a must for working mothers

Published : 03 Jun 2016, 17:24

Rakhi Mrong

Nowadays the women in Bangladesh are not fully dependent on their husband as they have become self-reliant thanks to their involvement with work. 

They are now working in numerous sectors such as government and non-government offices, private firms and garment factories. Definitely it's such a positive scenario about the women progress in Bangladesh. The government's various initiatives have propelled to create such a ground for improving lifestyle of the women. Granting maternity leave for the young employees is such an initiative.

The young mothers are now getting leave with wages because of her giving birth to child. The system has been introduced to protect the health of working mothers and their newborn child as well as to protect them from heavy work conditions. Due to effective initiatives by the government, maternal mortality rate in Bangladesh has declined by more than 66% over the last two decades. The government has planned to further cut maternal mortality rate to 63 per 100,000 live births by 2030. 

On the other hand child mortality rate has dropped significantly because of various government measures. According to a report of the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef), under-five child mortality rate in Bangladesh in 1990 was 144 per 1,000. But in 2015, the rate was 38 per 1,000.

Moreover, the number of women employees have been increased in Bangladesh. It's mentionable that 13 lakh women have been involved with work in formal sector and women employment rate is 5.8%.

Nearly three million female workers are working in readymade garment sector and that rate is 80-85 per cent. Due to job security, female workers of RMG do not discontinue from job after child birth. Because they are enjoying maternity leave provision. 

The job security of the female workers is contributing to boost production in RMG sector and thus helps increasing Bangladesh's RMG exports to Europe and North America. So in the economic sphere, women have been playing a vital role in Bangladesh and it has been possible for creating ground by the government.

Mother and child both need special health care after child birth that's why maternity leave is an important for working mother. It's important to facilitate breastfeeding and prevent health hazards for the mother and child, raise the labor market participation and avoid many unobservable attributes that affect child development. 

Maternity benefits promote children's development, cut gender inequality and offer financial support to the mothers. There is a significant evidence that child developmental outcomes are generally better if mothers do not work, or do not work full time, in the first year of life. According to Maternity Benefit Act, 1939, woman employees enjoyed maternity leave for 12 weeks, and afterwards got 16 weeks. When the Meternity Leave Act has been amended in 2011, a mother can enjoy six months maternity leave. 

According to reformed law of maternity leave "Where a female Government servant applies for maternity leave, the authority mentioned in rule 149 or, rule 150, as the case may be, shall grant such leave for a period of six months from the date of commencement of the leave or her confinement for the purpose of delivery, whichever is earlier".

Source: BSS.

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