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15 Jun 2016

UNICEF representative in Belarus in favor of mandatory paternity leaves

MINSK, 15 June (BelTA) – Representative of the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Belarus Rashed Mustafa Sarwar is in favor of the introduction of mandatory paternity leaves, BelTA has learned.

The UNICEF representative said: “UNICEF practices mandatory four-week paternity leaves. They can be used either part by part or in one go before the child is six months old. By the way, I took a paternity leave when my son was born.”

In his words, all normal fathers help mothers raise kids regardless of whether a mandatory leave is available or not. “By legislating paternity leaves you will be able to improve the quality of support for women and children. Is it a catastrophe for an employer to give a four-week leave to an employee? From the point of view of investing in the child’s development it is priceless,” believes Rashed Mustafa Sarwar.

“I am positive about the introduction of mandatory paternity leaves. The move would help protect mother’s rights since women should not have to bear the burden of taking care of the babies alone. The move would also protect children’s rights since little kids need constant attention and should see the face of their mother and father when they are babies. From the point of view of the society the introduction of paternity leaves will raise the status of fatherhood and will lead to the transformation of gender stereotypes regarding the social roles of men and women. Nowadays many people, even young and modern ones, believe that children are better left in the care of their mothers. Meanwhile, by taking care of their kids, by nurturing them, men can find new ways of self-expression in addition to getting deep emotional satisfaction. Mandatory leaves will contribute to better understanding in families about the nurturing of children. The environment at home will be more comfortable for everyone,” concluded the UNICEF representative in Belarus.

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