Lok Sabha ultimately gave the nod to the Amendment Bill exclusive to Maternity Benefit of Women employees. There have been long discussions and debates over this issue. Maneka Gandhi in particular have flooded the social medias demanding the right for every women to avail a minimum of 26 weeks of Maternity Leave. Sushmita Dev (Congress) and Thagata Sathpaty (BJD) were among the active members to debate on the bill in Parliament on Thursday.
The Lok Sabha (with 53 MPs among which 11 are women MPs ) passed the bill which entitles women both from the Public and Private sectors to enjoy Maternity Leave of 26 weeks. The Bill was already passed in Rajya Sabha but the demand was to amend the Maternity Benefit Bill. It demanded extension of maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
The new Maternity Benefit Bill has few terms and conditions; A women with two or more children will get only 12 weeks of maternity leave. If a woman adopts a child below three months, then she will get 12 weeks leave from the date of official handover of the child.
The new Maternity Bill also specified that an organisation having 50 or more employees should have creche facilities for kids.
Maneka Gandhi exclaimed her joy saying, ‘I am very very happy that we have made history today. This will help thousands of women and more healthier children will be produced.’ Her much controversial statement on Paternity Leave stirred mass reaction on social platforms earlier. She commented that what will men do with paternity leaves. ‘They will just enjoy holidays.’ This time she maintained silence to all questions related to her earlier remark on Paternity leave.