Calicut University in July this
year became the first Indian varsity to grant long-term maternity leave for
women students, enabling them to continue a course without facing a 'year-out'
due to pregnancy.
The University's Dean of Student
Welfare said the decision was the culmination of two-year long efforts initiated
by the student grievance redressal cell to bring in gender equality and provide
equal educational opportunity to women students.
"Many married students, especially
those pursuing professional courses like MBBS, have been approaching us saying
they were having a tough time balancing the mandatory attendance requirements
and their maternity-related responsibilities in family life. We feel that it
is the duty of society to ensure that maternity related issues not come in the
way of a girl student in achieving her career and academic aspirations," the
This is indeed a historical decision,
and will be taken note of by other universities and educational institutions
around the country.
Government of West Bengal took
a decision early this year, to grant a special 'Child Care Leave' of two years
to female state government employees. The CCL could be taken till a child turns
18 years. Those who avail this special leave will also receive their full salary
during the period.
According to the Central government
order that came into effect from September 1, 2008, "Women employees having
minor children may be granted CCL by an authority competent to grant leave,
for a maximum period of two years (730 days), during their entire service for
taking care of up to two children whether for rearing or to look after any of
their needs like examination, sickness etc."
West Bengal government before
taking this decision had a policy by which a female employee was allowed 120
days of maternity leave only. During the rule of the past regime a proposal
to make it at par with Central Government policies was thought about but relegated
to the back burner. The current Chief Minister took up the issue, and recognizing
the importance of it, ensured that the female employees of the state government
receive the same benefit as their counterparts in central government service.
Both these historic moves will
help women to pursue their career and family life without having to choose one
over the other. It is also an acknowledgement and an endorsement of the fact
that a woman need not sacrifice her career for her family obligations.
Source: Team M3.tv