New Delhi: Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday said that men in India will use paternity leave as a holiday instead of taking care of their children.
"Men in India do not utilise their existing leaves in order to take care of their child. If men gave me one iota of hope by taking sick leave for child care, then yes, we can think of mooting a proposal for paternity leave."
Maneka said that that she will consider the sick leave if men avail their leave to take care of the child.
"Paternity leave can be considered only if, once the woman goes back to work after her 26 weeks of leave, we find that men are availing their sick leave for a month to take care of the child. Let me see how many men do that. I will be happy to give it but for a man, it will be just a holiday, he won't do anything," Gandhi told the newspaper.
After the Maternity Bill 2016 was passed in the Rajya Sabha, many woman rights activists and Parliamentarians called for the government to consider the paternity leave so that men help their wives in raising the kids.
The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 is an act that protects the employment of women for a certain period before and after child-birth.