PATERNITY LEAVE. A NECESSITY OR ABSURDITY?

The world’s population is speedily growing as many people have come to accept the need of procreation. Today’s standard of living is compelling and greatly influences the number of children a couple have after marriage. In this view, there is the need for the handful of children who are brought forth to experience if not perfect, the best early childhood care from both parents hence, the need for paternity leave.

It is quite sad to know that across the world, it is only a few countries who do newly born babies the good by granting their fathers paternity leave.

A global view brings to light that Europe constitutes the part with the lengthiest paternity leave policy-Norway grants fourteen weeks: Iceland and Slovenia grants twelve weeks: Finland grants eleven weeks among others. This leaves us to pose the question: which part of the world grants the shortest leave? It is quite laughable to know it is Africa upon her stern attachment to the family as an institution. Just a handful of all the fifty four countries on the African continent do newly-born babies this good.

Let me bring us to our homeland: Ghana. I keep wondering when any government will consider implementing a law that will be enforced to do newly born babies besides nursing mothers this good. Being oblivious of the importance of paternity leave is no ground for an excuse from any government whatsoever.

Newly-born babies and nursing mothers embrace and enjoy both tangible and abstract honors. It gives mothers and kids a sense of security: every mother feels some sense of security whenever her husband is around her. It gives the mother and the child some sort of protection as the man will with his presence defend and honor his wife and child at all cost at that particular period.

It provides the ground for fathers to learn and feel the emotions behind the child’s early years of development: Fathers most often, are not applauded for their works in early childhood development when they tend to work intensively at that particular period so as to fend for their families. I believe when paternity leave is granted Ghanaian fathers, they will grow closer to understanding why and how their children do certain things they do. This, as a result, can lead to fathers being celebrated as our mothers are: on mother’s day.

Dad gets a break from work with salary: our fathers will be granted weeks off work to be in the comfort of their homes. They therefore offer services as care-takers, nannies, cleaners, cooks, comforters, among others. These services although not offered to the government are paid accordingly. Not only dad gets the break but his services also shoves responsibility off mum’s shoulders.

Fathers will gain a new perception: fathers are known only to perform the role of providing: food, clothing, shelter, security and payment of bills. Even with these, our mothers support unconditionally. The institution of the paternity leave policy will see fathers wear a new cloth than only being regarded as providers. The true and real potentials of paternity will be unveiled in a very wide sense. Fathers will cherish and respect their wives and their ordeals, understand their children and feel more bonded to them and embrace the family with diversity.

Why should mothers be left alone with their newly-born babies? Why should the idea of bringing in a nanny even pop up when you are going to pay someone who can’t guarantee the happiness and security of your newly-born baby? Why would you enroll a three-month old baby in school just to make room for work?

Let us change the perception of fathers, let’s give dad a break from work, let us grant our nursing mothers and newly-born babies the needed security and solidify the bond between our children and their fathers by considering granting our fathers “the leave”

 

Credit – Dongotey Henry

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