A bill seeking to legalise two-week paternity leave for male workers after their wives must have been delivered of babies has been rejected by the House of Representatives, Punch reports.
The bill, if passed, would have given fathers in both the private and public sector the option to take paternity leave.
The bill was sponsored by a member of the All Progressives Congress from Plateau State, Mr. Edward Pwajok (SAN).
Pwajok had argued that men needed some days off their work to attend fully to mother and child.
”As father’s share of parenting is on the increase, they experience similar challenges with women, such as their jobs and family duties clashing.
Making provision for maternity leave without provision for maternity leave is discriminatory against men.”
Another lawmaker Nkem Uzoma-Abonta from Abia State, also said he was for the bill.
However, majority of the lawmakers, who opposed the bill, noted that the idea of maternity leave for women was conceived for them to rest and recover fully from labour pains.
They also argued that since it’s the woman who carries the child for nine months, the leave should be for the woman, and not for the man.
A member from Rivers State, Mr. Kingsley Chinda, held that the bill should be thrown out. He added that men probably played no more role in carrying the growing foetus after putting their wives in the family way.
“What is the spirit behind the labour law? I think that this bill should be thrown out. The woman carried the child for nine months. The leave is for the woman, not the man,” Chinda argued.
“I don’t think that, of all the serious issues out there, our constituents will be happy seeing us on live television debating a bill on paternity leave,” Chinda added.
The bill was later rejected in a majority voice vote.