TWO NATIONS REPORTER
BEITBRIDGE – Beitbridge Town Clerk, Loud Ramakgapola has called for 12 days paternity leave so that men can be with their wives when they give birth.
Ramakgapola said he comes across many male workers who apply for leave days to attend to their wives when they give birth. He said the high number of applications for such leave justifies the need for paternity leave and the leave must be accompanied by benefits.
He said paternity leave will ensure that men will not neglect their wives and newly born babies.
Ramakgapola said this before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Parliament is working on a Labour Amendment Bill.
The Committee is chaired by Chivi- Mwenezi MP for proportional representation, Emma Huni Ncube.
“Maternity leave in Zimbabwe is 90 days, what we need to think about are men. We have cases where men come and say my wife has given birth and ask for days to attend to their spouses. My suggestion is that men should be entitled to paternity leave at the time their wives are on maternity leave.
This may not be 90 days but 12 days as in South Africa. We should be in sync with progressive developments that are happening in the region,” said Ramakgapola.
“Women fight for equal rights and as men we are just quiet. For me it’s not fair, let’s get paternity leave for men. In South Africa it is 12 days and I propose that in Zimbabwe it should also be 12 days,” he added.
He also proposed that the age of employment to be moved from 18 years to 16 years.
He said the current majority age of marriage and employment in Zimbabwe is 18 years.
“The age in which one can get employed should be 16 years so that one can get time to prepare for marriage,” said Ramakgapola.
MP Ncube told Two Nations that the Bill was getting mixed feelings.
She said participants were also particularly concerned with the issue of pensions.
“Pensioners are bitter that they are not getting money and when they do get it, it would have lost value through inflation,” said Ncube.