Wednesday, March 10, 2010

1 Million Signature Campaign for 90 Days Maternity Leave...

"Dear Yang Amat Berhormat Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak,

We, the undersigned Malaysian citizen strongly support the initiative by the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) to increase the existing paid maternity leave from 60 to 90 days.

The role of a modern woman has become more varied and challenging than, say, 30 years ago. Most women today juggle the demands of a full-time job with their traditional role of home-maker so that they help to sustain a decent standard of living.

As a home-maker, a woman bears the heavy burden of raising children, managing the household and ensuring her family’s overall wellbeing. With this in mind, the least the government should do is ensure the full recovery of a woman’s physical, emotional and mental state after delivering a child.

Many Southeast Asian nations have moved forward along with the Recommendation of the ILO Convention 103 – Maternity Protection Convention (Revised), 1952. The revised Convention 183 of 2000 considered 7 maternity protections; let’s do a regional comparison of just the basic protection:

Statutory maternity leave in Southeast Asia:

· Singapore – 112 days (16 weeks)
· Thailand – 90 days (3 months)
· Cambodia – 90 days
· Indonesia – 90 days
· Malaysia – 60 days

Some Southeast Asian countries even provide breastfeeding and child care protection. For example a mother in Singapore gets up to 12 months leave to breastfeed and care for her newborn. In Cambodia, companies are obliged to grant a new mother a 30-minute break twice daily to breastfeed her child. Those with more than 100 women workers have to provide nursing rooms and day care centers, with the cost of childcare borne by the company. Indonesian employers meanwhile are required to provide a suitable place for breastfeeding mothers to nurse their children during work hours.

These are but some of the instances of protection for women workers afforded under the ILO convention.

Malaysia, unfortunately, is lagging far behind and there is a pressing need to amend the relevant provision in the Employment Act 1955.

The 60-day paid maternity leave is simply not enough for most Malaysian women.

Why? A women who goes through the delivery of a child suffers not just physically but emotionally and mental too.

Post-natal depression (PND), a health issue - 1 in 3 new mothers, or 10%, suffer PND which is a less understood form of depression. Women with this medical disorder are either not ready to work or feel they cannot return to work yet. The problems usually start within a few weeks or months of giving birth. Over 50% of mothers develop the disorder within the first 3 months. "

This article is taken from my email,received today. To continue reading the full text, including to SIGN YOUR SIGNATURE pls Click Here.  The collection of this petition will end on 6th June 2010 so to all Mums, dads, bothers and sisters please visit the site and sign the 1 million signature campaign....

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