Calls for an extension of men's three-day paternity leave to a couple of weeks paid leave
16 February 2009
This is the position of the South African Government, to be presented to the United Nations meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which takes place in New York next month under the theme: "Equal sharing of responsibilities between men and men, including care-giving in the context of HIV and AIDS."
A media briefing at the Premier Hotel in Pretoria today, Monday, 16 February 2009, at 12 noon, to be addressed by the Minister in the Presidency Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, will elaborate on this position, which is a culmination of several national and Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU) regional policy meetings.
The call for an extension of paternity leave is in support of the global debate on sharing of responsibilities between men and women, to allow men more time for caring of the newborn baby, as well as for bonding. The Minister is of the view that three-days paternity leave is not enough to educate and train men on sharing responsibilities in the family.
International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions recognise the obligations that States parties have to promote the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men. South Africa is signatory to this commitment. The issue of maternity leave and paternity leave must therefore be reviewed in line with these commitments.
The media briefing will also look at developing policies which can translate into men also taking responsibility for looking after children at their workplace, and that male responsibilities should be emphasised to lessen the daily burden of domestic responsibilities brought to bear chiefly on women.
Media briefing will be held as follows:
Date: 16 February 2009
Venue: The Premier Hotel, on Church Street, near Leyds, Pretoria
Cell: 083 679 7424
Issued by: The Presidency
15 February 2009