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Title: Gamechanger or a Trojan Horse? Some Reflections on the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
Authors: Uma, Saumya
Kamath, Aditya
Keywords: maternity benefit,
maternity leave
paternity leave
Issue Date: 16-May-2020
Publisher: Economic and Political Weekly
Citation: Uma, Saumya, and Kamath, Aditya (2020) Gamechanger or a Trojan Horse? Some Reflections on the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.Economic and Political Weekly Vol. 55, Issue No. 20,59-65. May 2020
Abstract: The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, a key legislation in India that enables women to transcend the public–private dichotomy and stake their claim for productive participation in the labour force, saw major amendments in 2017. Four aspects of the amendments—increased maternity leave, maternity leave for adoption and surrogacy, provision of crèche, and paternity leave—are juxtaposed with feminist and constitutional principles as well as ground-level realities and practices. An increase in maternity benefits in law with a neglect of paternity leave and benefits is a lopsided approach that further reinforces gendered division of labour and care work as the domain of women. The social responsibility of employers is emphasised, and a deeper engagement of the state with the policy of parental benefits is advocated.
Appears in Collections:JGU Research Publications

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