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Shaaditimers » Member-contribution » Labour-040315
Labour pains of a working woman
A thought over the maternity leave policy

"The Society of women is the foundation of good manners" - Goethe.

Goethe might have made the above statement after doing a lot of introspection which was a truth in the yesteryears and also the same in today's world. Whenever I think of human behavior, all the routes of my thoughts converge at only one point i.e. the influence of mother's care for her child. As we all know that human behavior is such a complex phenomenon to be analyzed, most of the people have researched a lot rather than debated in the parliaments.


My own reasoning

I too have my own reasoning which I would like to share with all of you. As the country's tomorrow depends on the children of today and society is guided by grown-up's behavior, further the behavior of grown up is dependent on the parent's care in the childhood particularly it is largely influenced by the mother's care. The way the mother treats her child is more important than any other person's attitude towards the child in this world. The first word spoken by the child Ma in Hindi, Amma in kannada and so on, depending on the Mother Tongue of that child. After that, physiological and psychological needs are taken care by none other than the mother of that child. She teaches her child to be like this way, to be like that way, so forth and so on. We call this as human behavior which forms the foundation stone for a child to face all the difficulties which he or she may come across in his / her life. If all these things are true then the question is of amount of attention needed for the child from the today's sincere and hard workingwoman in the society. How she is able to balance both the household chores and office duties in the amidst of societal beliefs and professional competencies without compromising with the ethics?


There are several husbands in our society who force their wives to go to office and work, there are several who leave the options to their wives and there are several who compel their wives to stay in the houses. Here we come across two important things first one the concept of true liberty and second the necessity of education. If you consider the first point it appears really a funny idea of restricting or denying the freedom to the workingwomen. It reminds me of great words of Mr. Lincoln, who often quoted in his electoral speeches, i.e. "those who deny freedom to others shall deserve it not for themselves". Now if you consider the second point the objective of education needs to be once again redefined, because if you consider the working women who are highly educated (Educated means both morally and academically) and who have the inner urge to work and achieve something in their professional careers. It becomes very biased and also an insane idea to tell them to stay in the houses. If that is said then what was the necessity of wasting so much of money for their education, which is of course a burden for the country. But, what I feel is that when there is a comparison made between two women; one who is highly educated and one who is poorly educated or uneducated, then we can say that the children can be made better citizens by the highly educated woman, compared to uneducated woman in this fast moving meander world. By saying this I intend not to hurt the sentiments of an uneducated woman.

A cold blooded world

I rather support my idea in one aspect i.e. uneducated women may be successful in giving better attention to the child's physiological and psychological needs than what a educated women is capable of doing but is unable to do, due to the work pressures and also an uneducated women can't prepare the child to face this cruel, pernicious, cold blooded world in a courageous, intellectual and the much needed diplomatic way. To provide a justified solution for all this obscurity, the government needs to rethink and make a thorough study of the existing laws and its provisions and make suitable amendments in them, pertaining to maternity leave in particular and boosting the morale of sincere working women in general. In the existing harsh situation, it would be appropriate to provide a " 3 year maternity leave with pay" by amending the existing rule of 135 days. Even though the idea sounds funny and unacceptable. It is common fact observed all the time that whenever a new idea is proposed, people laugh at it, then criticize it badly and finally accept it whole heartedly.

Price to pay

It is a headache and a burden for the exchequer of government and quasi Govt. firms, also private firms may never accept this idea, as they are more worried about money rather than ethics. At this juncture it reminds me of the great thoughts of P.B.Saint Hillarie ; "the moral standards are deteriorating the elites baffled and submits to the new gospel coming from the west, youth is searching for its way in the darkness and does not find it. It appears that the price India will have to pay for catching up with the technologically advanced countries is the loss of her spiritual greatness."

In the above context if one thinks about long-term benefits of the country, then this proposal may be both practically and logically viable. It is nothing but sacrificing today for a better tomorrow. Since the first three year period is the most formative and very critical period for the child's growth and development(both physiological and psychological) much attention by the parents is needed in general and from the mother in particular. We should never forget the famous adage about the child development that is often talked and less practiced, i.e. "You give me your time for first three years and I will take care of myself rest of the life."

The big picture

Now the problem for any organization may be in two fold ,if the law is enforced ;
1) A salary burden for the organization during the authorized absence of an employee for a long period of three years.
2) A vacancy in the job position, which will definitely affect the routine activities of an organization that in turn will result in, decreased efficiency and effectiveness.
But something has to be done in this regard, as we talk foolishly about the reduction of man power, automation, so forth and so on which is a western philosophy accepted by the entire world then why can't we accept the above problems and face it in a positive spirit and try our hands and brains to uphold the values of sincere, deserving and hardworking working women community. Above all, let us never forget the ethical views about a sincere, deserving and hard workingwoman, as expressed in the Quran ; "O you who believe. You are not forbidden to inherit women against their will nor shall you treat them with harshness. Live with them on a footing of kindness and equity."
-Quran 4 : 19(on kindness to women)
I would like to conclude my words with the immortal thoughts of Schiller about a woman:
"Honour women they entwine and weave heavenly roses in our earthly life"
- Schiller

B. M. Santosh
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