In India, out of the total population, only 27% of women work, and that deficit costs the country a probable 2.5 percentage points of gross domestic product each year. Sometime back, the government of India tried to resolve the trouble by doubling-up its federally mandated paid maternity leave policy from three months to six months.
This fresh, extensive policy puts a greater part of the world to utter shame.
India’s new policy with 26 weeks of paid maternity leave surpasses France’s 16-week leave and effortlessly beats the 14 weeks offered in Germany and Japan. Had India been an OECD country, it would without any doubt rank 6th, alongside Israel and Poland, for longest paid leave. It is only the U.K., Greece, Ireland, the Slovak Republic, and the Czech Republic who offer new mothers more paid time off.
The United States, obviously, offers women no paid leave at all. The Family Leave and Medical Act, formed law in the year 1993 and it only assures that the qualified women do not have to quit their jobs if they avail up to 12 weeks off after giving birth, but this does not mention anywhere that women be salaried during this period of time.
From the time President Donald Trump has been in, there has been no official plan introduced, but he announced the paid leave for “parents” while addressing a joint session of Congress in late February. His daughter Ivanka Trump is apparently emphasizing for a paid parental leave measure and child care tax benefits. The proposal President Trump approved on the campaign trail, if approved would give new mothers a six weeks of salaried leave. This, if approved would place the U.S. in last position among the OECD countries, together with Australia and Portugal, which also provide 6 weeks.
More generally, there’s some expectation that the new policy will make Indian business more cooperative to women. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for one, is persuaded of its positive aspects. On social media, he called the bill a “landmark moment in our efforts towards women-led development.”