India Increases Maternity Leave
“India has passed a law that increases paid maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks.” This new law, however, will only apply to those organisations which employ over 10 people and women will be granted a 26-week paid maternity leave only for their first two children. After, they will only be entitled to a 12-week leave.
India is now 3rd in the world with regards to duration of paid maternity leave, following Canada which gives 50 weeks and Norway which gives 44 weeks.
Will this new law inspire more women in India to seek careers?
Angola Anti-Abortion Demonstration
Last Sunday, around 200 demonstrators protested in Luanda, Angola against a draft of a law which criminalises all abortions. This law, if broken, would translate to “up to 10 years in prison for those who have or perform the abortion.”
The bill allows abortion when the mother’s life is in danger or if the mother has been subjected to rape, and will only specifically punish abortion in any other circumstance.
The bill was scheduled to be voted on March 23, however, the final vote has been postponed indefinitely.
Saudi Arabia Pledges to Increase Women’s Rights
2 weeks ago, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development declared that the ministry would spearhead a programme dedicated to increasing the number of women working in the country, aiming to boost the number to 28 percent by 2020.
This would create approximately 141,000 jobs. This programme aims to create jobs for women, decrease the rate of unemployment among women, and reduce gender inequality in work environments in Saudi Arabia.
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Gender Gap Report, Saudi Arabia ranks at 141 (out of 144 countries) in the world for gender equality. As a point of reference, the United States ranks 45th.
Women Migrants Face Terrible Conditions in Morocco
The U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports that out of over 6,000 refugees and asylum seekers fleeing to Morocco, 44 percent are women.
These women suffer numerous violations and forms of abuse on their way to Morocco, and once they arrive, they are not granted access to public health service. A report by the IOM stated that over one half of the women are single mothers, the majority becoming pregnant en-route, primarily in the context of sexual abuse.
“The lack of provisions leaves migrants unable to find work, abandoned in squalid crime-ridden camps, and unable to move on to their final destination.”
Dominic is a Greek/American writer & editor; English and Theatre Studies Graduate