Friday, January 9, 2009

Maternity leave - your thoughts

French justice minister, Rachida Dati, is back at work less than a week after the birth of her first child by cesarean. Today's Guardian carries a feature discussing how this may impact on French women's confidence to claim and take the maternity leave they are entitled to.

The right to paid maternity leave came about as the result of a hard fought battle, led by feminists for the benefit of women and their children. Does voluntarily returning to work without taking maternity leave undermine the argument for maternity leave?

Should women take their full maternity entitlement to assert and protect the right to it (eg like the right to vote - use it or loose it)? Or is it perfectly acceptable to choose not to take maternity leave, or to cut that leave short?

Could women feel social pressure to take maternity leave, just as they may feel pressured into not taking it?

It would be great to read your thoughts on this in the comments.

Gill

1 comment:

word_fashionista said...

I think women should be able to choose whether or not to take the full extent of their maternity leave - women have the right to work as well if that is what they wish to do. However, Rachida Dati, as a woman in a position of power, probably should have considered the impact this decision would have on others in a similar position. She does have a responsibility to show that it is not wrong to take one's maternity leave.